The Cooke Family Foundation of Hope was brought to life in 2006 by Michelle and her husband, Pittsburgh Penguin left winger Matt Cooke. The couple both grew up in small towns where the values of sharing with neighbours and helping out in the community were deeply ingrained.
The catalyst for creating the Foundation came from Michelle's family. Her brother Brandon and his wife Jamie were high school sweethearts and expecting their first child, Hope. Something went wrong and Hope was born without a heartbeat. After her funeral Michelle and Matt knew they had to do something to counteract this devastating heartbreak. And so the Foundation was built, literally, on Hope.