NEWNAN, Ga. — She's a real-life State Farm insurance agent who also plays one on a commercial that's often on TV.
Deidre Bembry has become somewhat of a local celebrity around Newnan because of the commercial.
She told Channel 2’s Tom Jones that the commercial has changed her life. But before her big acting break, Bembry lost her 6-year-old daughter, Keris, to a rare pediatric brain cancer.
Now, she’s using that newfound fame to help other kids who have the same disease that took her daughter’s life.
“It's not something that a parent gets over,” Bembry said.
The mother said Keris was diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma and died from the rare cancer in 2015.
“How much do you miss her?” Jones asked Bembry.
“Every day,” Bembry said.
She said the cancer hit Keris and the family hard.
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“Her exact words at 4 were, ‘Mom, I feel like the bones are turning in the back of my head,” Bembry said. “Our bills are insanely high.”
The mother told Jones that they had an amazing support system.
Then Bembry landed a role in a popular State Farm insurance TV commercial, changing her life.
Bembry said she and her family realized other families didn't have the support they did, so they started Keris Kares for families of children with cancer.
“We pay nonmedical bills for families once they get a cancer diagnosis,” Bembry told Jones.
Those payments include mortgages, rent, car payments and even utilities for families statewide.
“The worst thing that can happen to somebody is to be facing eviction and have a sick child,” Bembry said.
The 501(c)(3) organization is funded through donations, four core funding events and corporate grants.
Bembry told Jones the organization is a way to help others and honor Keris.
“She was an amazing kid,” Bembry said. “We really like to tell our story so people know.”
If you’d like to help Keris Kares, you can text Keris to 41444.
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