New Day Foundation for Families is a Rochester, Michigan-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded in 2007 by Michael and Gina Spehn in the aftermath of losing their first spouses to cancer.
Our mission is to have a positive impact on treatment outcomes and survivorship by reducing the catastrophic effects of financial toxicity caused by a cancer diagnosis.
We serve families who have a family member in active treatment for a cancer diagnosis (adult or pediatric), and who also have children under the age of 18 living in the home.
We accomplish our mission by offering financial assistance and emotional support programs to cancer patients and their families. It’s important to know:
- We do not write checks to families or individuals.
- We pay bills directly to creditors.
- We do not pay credit cards or medical bills, however we will help families facilitate negotiations and payment plans as needed.
- Every family must complete an application that is submitted by a hospital social worker.
- New Day has a social worker on staff to handle intake calls, provide counseling and meet with families face to face.
High Priority Mission Program
Our Positive Impact Program helps families who have suffered significant income loss as a result of a cancer diagnosis. Every family’s needs are unique. This program helps to alleviate the greatest financial and emotional burdens to reduce the effects of financial toxicity and improve treatment outcomes and survivorship.
Bill Payment Services include:
- Auto payments/repairs
- Home maintenance/repairs
- Children’s services: Daycare, school clothing and supplies, “Pay to Participate” fees, sports camps, music lessons etc.
- Funeral Expenses
A Custom Care Pack is delivered to every family we serve, to welcome them to New Day and let them know we care. Each package is filled with comfort items and helpful resources such as blankets, inspirational and educational books, Livestrong Guidebooks and other partner resources, music, journals, stuffed animals, mugs, toys and more.
The Single Parent Program is an offshoot of our Positive Impact Program, but designed specifically to address the unique burdens of a single parent family faced with cancer.
Professional Counseling: New Day has a social worker and professional counselor on staff who provides a limited number of complimentary counseling sessions to our families.
Caring with Cards is a gift card program to provide food, clothing and fuel to families in need. As good stewards of every dollar, New Day is a member of Great Lakes Scrip Center (GLSC), a program that allows us to order major retailer gift cards at full face value (Meijer, Speedway, Target, WalMart, etc.) and receive a percentage of each purchase donated back to New Day.
The Holiday Giving Program is designed to bring a smile to the face of every parent and child living with the realities of cancer, especially during the holidays. Providing gifts for a family is a way to help maintain normalcy, infuse joy, and restore hope.
Financial Overview (Most recent audit: 2015)
2016 Operating Budget: $620,000
- 85% Allocated to Program Services
- 15% Allocated to Operating Expenses
New Day has provided grants to 148 families in 18 hospitals in 2016
- 20% single parents
- 10% Pediatric patients – 90% Adult patients
Why We’re Here
Michael Spehn and Gina Kell Spehn co-founded New Day Foundation in 2007 after each losing their first spouse to cancer while raising young children. They were fortunate to each have an incredible support network including family, friends, employers, church and schools who made it possible for them to focus on treatment and take care of their families. Today, Michael and Gina have a son, Sam Kell, currently living with Grade IV Glioblastoma (brain cancer) and, they are more passionate than ever about making sure every family has the resources they need to thrive in the midst of this devastating disease. Their story is told in the NY Times Bestseller, The Color of Rain, which also became the highest rated Hallmark Movie Channel Original movie.
Facts About The High Cost of Cancer
- 24% of cancer patients borrow against or use money from a retirement plan due to cancer-related expenses. (American Cancer Society)
- The average out-of-pocket cost of cancer for an insured family is $1266 per month. (American Cancer Society)
- Cancer is one of the most expensive diseases to treat in the U.S. (American Journal of Managed Care)
- A cancer diagnosis often leads to unemployment or lost wages, threatening economic stability and safety of entire families.
A recent study suggests a link between financial distress and worse mortality (Oxford Journals)