KB Strong Foundation donates $50,000 to the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Peoria to fund local brain cancer research

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The KB Strong Foundation is continuing to fight the fight against brain cancer and glioblastoma.

Foundation leaders donated $50,000 to the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Peoria for local research. It’s in honor of Washington Community High School basketball coach Kevin Brown who died from brain cancer in June 2019.

“Most of the research we do is super expensive so every experiment that we do is pretty expensive so we use that for chemicals, we use it for identification of targets using gene therapy techniques. We use it for cutting edge technologies,” said UICOMP Assistant Professor Dr. Kiran Velpula.

The money comes from donations, fundraising efforts, and other community organizations.

The group’s biggest fundraiser is the Kevin Brown Memorial Tournament of Champions, which was canceled this year due to COVID-19. The annual Brown Fest fundraiser in September helped raise money through a bag toss tournament, raffles, and basketball games.

“Given the fact that we have a pandemic, given the fact that we are not meeting each other, given the fact that nothing is happening in the right way. The thing that kept us united is their spirit and their dedication to lift us up and then contribute to our research which they think that we bring some hope for a cure,” said Dr. Velpula.

Assistant Professor Dr. Kiran Velpula at UICOMP says the donation will help fund research and work towards making strides.

“We have the luxury to kind of utilize that money that we get to find novel ideas, to kind of use it for funding novel ideas that could be used to understand the progression of these brain tumors,” said Dr. Velpula.

Last year, the KB Strong Foundation donated $30,000 to UICOMP.

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