Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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January 9, 2010

Kori Brown starts own foundation

iroK will help families with sick children

The window of temporary fame and a donation from a national pharmacy chain was enough for Kori Brown to begin her own charity foundation.

Kori and her family plan to publicly unveil the iroK Foundation — “Kori” spelled backward — during tonight’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” viewing party.

CVS Corp., a routine sponsor for the ABC-TV reality show, donated $50,000 to the Cowan-Brown family to help begin the charity, said Heather Cowan, Kori’s mother.

“The producers said, ‘You have a very small window of opportunity here with your 15 minutes of fame time,’” Cowan said. “‘Get that word out and exploit that,’ for lack of a better word.”

The foundation aims to support families burdened by medical bills get through their day-to-day expenses.

“There are so many families that fall through the cracks. They qualify for medical expenses to be paid or they may not,” Cowan said. “The way they fall through the cracks so many times is they have, say, refrigerators break down that they’re storing their child’s medicine in and may have to keep it in an Igloo cooler.”

The foundation has selected its first family: Theresa Breeden and her 14-year-old daughter, Cheyenne Carrico, of Daviess County in southern Indiana.

Breeden said doctors discovered her daughter had a brain tumor when she was 5 years old. Doctors removed 80 percent of the tumor, but it left her blind and has caused further related medical problems, including short-term memory loss.

Carrico attends the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Indianapolis.

“She loves to sing, draw, do crafts,” Breeden said. “She even jokes about not being able to see.”

She met Kori when they attended a camp together several years ago.

Carrico and her daughter will visit Kokomo to attend the Cowan-Brown family’s viewing party Sunday, when there will be a special presentation about the foundation, Cowan said.

For more information about the foundation, visit www.irokfoundation.com.

Cowan said the Web site is new, and it will have more text in the future.

• Daniel Human is a Kokomo Tribune staff writer. He can be reached at 765-454-8570 or at daniel.human@kokomotribune.com.

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