In 2013, I signed up for free monthly text messages reminding me in a whole plethora of creative ways to ‘check my boobs’. Providing this service is CoppaFeel!, the first UK breast cancer charity to encourage awareness in young people. It's founder Kris Hallenga has a story that needs to be shared. She is the definition of inspiration and my #WCE.
Kristin Hallenga is the founder of CoppaFeel! breast cancer charity and a columnist for The Sun newspaper and she’s just 30 years young. She spends her time running campaigns, raising money, and she’s 'on a mission to stamp out late detection of breast cancer.' Kris received a Pride of Britain Award in 2009 for her CoppaFeel! work, wilful determination, and bravery in the face of cancer.
In 2009, Kris Hallenga was diagnosed with breast cancer at the remarkably young age of 23. But, frustratingly, the diagnosis wasn’t given until 8 MONTHS after her first trip to the GP. The lumps on her breast were initially dismissed as hormones as she was ‘too young for breast cancer’. When it was finally discovered that Kris had breast cancer, it was in the final stage 4 and had spread to her spine. She’s been having regular on-going treatment ever since. So Kris must’ve spent a while wallowing in self-pity, right? Absolutely not!!! She wasn’t going to sit back and let this happen to other young people. After all, breast cancer is usually associated with older women and this draws away from the fact that for women between the ages of 15 and 34, there are still around 830 new cases each year in the UK alone (Cancer Research UK). So, just a mere month after her diagnosis, Kris and her identical twin sister Maren created CoppaFeel! It’s been six long years since then so what has the charity achieved? In 2013 they introduced a campaign to put ‘check your boobs’ labels in bras. They have their team of ‘boobettes’: women who travel the country talking to groups of people from schools to girl guides to the work place about the importance of checking yourself! If you’re at uni, you may have even seen one of the Uni Boob Teams spreading the word. CoppaFeel! even started their very own annual music festival back in 2010. This year they’ve got music from the likes of Stereophonics and Rae Morris, curated by patron Fearne Cotton (of radio and Celebrity Juice fame) PLUS comedy acts curated by Russell Howard. These are just a few of the famous names that Kris has managed to get the attention of and I’ve only mentioned a sprinkling of the charity’s achievements. She’s got people up and down the country thinking about boobs!
I think this is pretty self-explanatory: Kris Hallenga is a hugely inspirational lady. She’s spreading awareness and creating real change and I think that’s always something to look up to. Especially whilst coping with her own cancer; hell, she’s just trekked 58 kilometres across a vast, treacherous expanse of Iceland with a team of boob beauties not long after new treatment! So ladies, and men, if you agree that this woman is worthy of our #WCE then do something for Kris and check those boobs. Let’s be honest, who doesn’t want an opportunity to give those buns a good squidge?
More information about Kris and Coppafeel! can be found at https://coppafeel.org/
Image source: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/features/kris-hallenga-coppafeel-founder-on-campaigning-to-raise-awareness-of-breast-cancer-among-young-a6698436.html