New Day Foundation

As a single mom of two kids, Alicia Kirk of Warren was looking forward to not only starting her new job last fall, but also having enough income to finally purchase a home for her family. Her daughter would be attending homecoming soon, and she was excited for the plans they had made for that weekend. But first, she had a nagging sore throat to take care of. Her doctor would diagnose her with leukemia.

“Faced with increasing medical expenses during treatment, some people choose to delay or stop cancer treatment,” said Heather Blasko, New Day public relations and marketing specialist. “New Day pays the rent or mortgage to keep families in their homes, pays utility bills to keep the lights on, offers referrals to professional counselors, and provides groceries to put food on the table.”

The New Day Foundation for Families is a Michigan-based nonprofit organization dedicated to alleviating the financial and emotional burdens of cancer for patients and their families. Founded in 2007 by Michael Spehn and Gina Kell Spehn, New Day works tirelessly to ensure that no family faces this debilitating disease alone.

Since its inception, New Day has helped over 2,300 families, translating to support for over 7,600 individuals, covering expenses like transportation, childcare and housing.

“It was just devastating to have your life set up to do well, and it just stops because of your condition,” said Kirk. “My whole life stopped. I even had to FaceTime with my daughter instead of being there with her for homecoming.”

The intense chemo treatment regimen created a serious heart condition for Kirk. She suffered a mini stroke while in treatment and was also struggling to eat due to partial mouth paralysis. She could not work – and therefore had no income.

Kirk and her 15-year-old daughter moved into her mom’s house, sleeping together in a bed. She paid $400 per month just to keep her storage unit and incurred out-of-pocket costs to obtain decent health insurance to help with her treatments. Kirk had both physical and emotional stress.

“That’s when my grant was approved,” Kirk says. “I could not stop crying. I am so grateful.”

New Day has been able to help Kirk’s family by assisting with car and health insurance payments, storage facility costs, cell phone payments and groceries. Kirk hopes to be well enough to continue with treatment for her cancer soon.

New Day is a beacon of hope for countless Michigan families facing the fight of their lives. Through financial assistance, emotional support, and unwavering dedication, New Day empowers families to prioritize their health and well-being during a challenging time. As New Day continues to grow and expand its reach, it paves the way for a future where no family walks the path of cancer alone.

“Our biggest upcoming fundraising event is the annual Celebrity Lip Sync Battle, which will be held on September 12th at Sound Board (Motor City Casino,)” said Blasko. “We also benefit from the Woodhouse Day Spa Color of Wellness 5k on August 3rd and (we) host a golf outing on July 15th.”

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