One Rochester Family's Story of Love, Loss, Faith and 'New Days'

One year after the release of their heartfelt memoir, "The Color of Rain," Michael and Gina Spehn are looking to grow their cancer support foundation.

Gina and Michael Spehn are having a party. 

There will be dinner and drinks and live music and dancing. There also will be infinite tributes — both the small, silent ones and the big, applause-inducing sorts — to the two party guests of honor. 

But those two guests will be there only in memory.

Matt Kell and Cathy Spehn were Gina and Michael's first spouses. They died of cancer two months apart in late 2005 and early 2006. Through their shared grief, their surviving spouses, Gina and Michael, found each other. They eventually married, blended their families (cue the Brady Bunch theme song) and started a foundation, based in their hometown of Rochester, in Matt and Cathy's honor. 

Which brings us back to the party. Proceeds from the second annual Evening Under the Stars, route: {:controller=>"events", :action=>"show", :id=>"mickey-york-evening-under-the-stars"} --> at or . Remember the

Karen Rohner September 17, 2012 at 12:32 PM
Yes. I have read their story. My husband an I are also both widowed and were told about this couple and the wonderful story they've written. I hope I have a chance to meet them one day. This is a touching story and so close to home both physically and emotionally. For anyone who has lost a spouse this story gives you hope. Thank you for a wonderful and inspiring book to read! Karen
Karen Rohner September 17, 2012 at 12:35 PM
Oops....I just left a comment with my former laat name with my late husband. My current name is Karen Rohner Nawrocki.
Kristin Bull (Editor) September 17, 2012 at 01:10 PM
For all of you who may be interested in reading the book or learning more about Gina and Michael, we are working on a book giveaway and community book discussion here in Rochester where Gina would be the guest of honor. Gina said she enjoys talking to book clubs about "The Color of Rain;" stay tuned for details!
tami callahan September 17, 2012 at 02:55 PM
Thank you, Kristin, for this wonderful story! As a friend and neighbor of Michael and Gina, I can tell you they are as genuine and as giving as they seem. Their service to God and others is inspiring! I can also tell you that their auction fundraiser is an amazing event. My husband and I always leave knowing we're an important part of a bigger plan - touched by the grateful and giving hearts of all those involved. We are so thrilled to be a part of this wonderful foundation!
Mike September 17, 2012 at 05:59 PM
Love the Rohner's and Nawrocki's!
Kevin September 17, 2012 at 08:29 PM
This is truly an inspiring story or faith and hope. Thanks, Kristin.
Liz September 17, 2012 at 10:15 PM
A beautiful and touching story. It's nice to read a Fairy Tale come true story. Life is hard enough without the emotional highs we have to deal with,so reading about this family and what they have had to endure and to know the outcome,is a blessing to all of us.
Stephanie Thompson September 18, 2012 at 01:55 AM
Thank you for sharing this story with us. I had no idea these events occurred within our community. I plan to read their book.
Kristie Semaan September 18, 2012 at 05:55 PM
My daughters goes to school now with Charlotte and Jack and my oldest was playing on a basketball team with Charlotte when Cathy passed away. A very tragic story. I bought the book on my kindle yesterday and could not put it down. I finished it last night. The book was wonderfully written. Wishing their family much success with their wonderful foundation.


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