The legacies of Matt Kell and Cathy Spehn are the heart and soul of New Day Foundation for Families. In 2007 this 501(c)(3) nonprofit was co-founded in memory of Matt and Cathy by their surviving spouses, Michael Spehn and Gina Kell Spehn, who married and blended their families that same year. Motivated by their personal experiences, Michael and Gina started New Day at the kitchen table with no nonprofit experience, but with a deep desire to help families cope with the financial and emotional burdens of cancer.
The Spehn’s assembled a Board of Directors made up of friends who hosted the Annual Matt Kell Memorial Golf Tournament and helped lay the groundwork for New Day. For five years they served families and sought mentors to help them learn and grow. In 2011, after the Spehn’s memoir, The Color of Rain, was published, Gina turned her attention to New Day on a full time volunteer basis.
Since 2007, New Day has assisted over 440 families (300 of those in 2016-2017 alone) and impacted the lives of 1,667 individuals including 972 children. Our growing network of supporters assisted more than six times as many individuals in 2017 than in 2012, a whopping 652% increase! In 2011, New Day established partnerships with major cancer centers and began working with hospital social workers to more efficiently qualify families with the greatest need. In 2014, New Day added an in-house professional counselor and social worker to engage with families and coordinate with 36 hospitals across the state of Michigan.
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. Their story continues with their son, Sam Kell, who was diagnosed with glioblastoma (brain cancer) in 2015. He is in treatment at MOTT Children’s Hospital and doing well.
To purchase The Color of Rain book or DVD on Amazon:
Michael and Gina personify the beauty that God can bring out of the ashes of sorrow.
— Kathy Lee Gifford
Host, NBC’s The Today Show Fourth Hour