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Our Story.

New Day Foundation for Families was founded in memory of two extraordinary individuals, Matt Kell and Cathy Spehn, whose legacies of family, faith, and generosity are the driving force behind our passion to serve the cancer community. New Day is an extension of the love and faith that defined their lives.

5 Kids, 4 Spouses, 3 Weddings, 2 Funerals, 1 Love

Matt and Cathy grew up as friends in Rochester, Michigan attending the same schools from grade school to college. Their lives intertwined early on, but after attending Michigan State University, Cathy married Michael Spehn and they soon began a family. Being a mom to Charlotte, Jack and Daniel was her greatest joy. Her gentle demeanor and kindness were the defining traits of her personality and lifestyle.

Matt met his wife, Gina, while attending MSU. They married in 1992 and started a family in 1999. Being the father of Andrew and Samuel was his pride and joy. He loved sharing his affinity for sports, cars and music with his boys. As their family grew, so too did Matt’s professional life, his career took off and at 32 he became the General Sales Manager at WDIV-TV in Detroit.

In the midst of his great success, Matt was diagnosed with a rare and incurable cancer, leiomyocarcoma. He lived with cancer for over three years and lost his battle with the disease on Christmas Day, 2005. At Matt’s funeral, sitting in the pews that day was Cathy Spehn, who could have never imagined what was about to happen next.

On February 11, 2006 Cathy walked into the emergency room at Beaumont Hospital complaining of painful headaches. Tragically, just seventeen days later she passed away from inoperable brain cancer.

In the wake of these unimaginable losses, Matt and Cathy’s legacies merged in another profound and unexpected way with the marriage of their surviving spouses.

Their story is told in The Color of Rain, as co-authored by their late spouses, Michael Spehn and Gina Kell Spehn. The beauty of their story is that it continues every day through New Day.

The Color of Rain :
How Two Families Found Faith, Hope, and Love in the Midst of Tragedy

NY Times Bestselling Book by Michael Spehn & Gina Kell Spehn

In 2007, motivated by their personal experiences, Michael Spehn and Gina Kell Spehn started New Day Foundation for Families at their kitchen table with no nonprofit experience, but with a deep desire to help families cope with the financial and emotional burdens of cancer. The legacies of their first spouses, Matt Kell and Cathy Spehn, are the heart and soul of New Day Foundation for Families.

The origins of New Day are told in Michael and Gina’s New York Times bestselling memoir, The Color of Rain, which also became a Hallmark Original movie in 2014 starring Lacey Chabert.

Color of Rain Hallmark Channel Movie Poster

“‘The Color of Rain’ Becomes Hallmark Movie Channel’s Highest Rated Original Movie in Network History”
(source: The Nielsen Company)

The Color of Rain Media

Today Show Appearance October 21, 2011

The Today Show

October 21, 2011

Mike Huckabee Show Appearance

Mike Huckabee Show

November 26, 2011

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