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CoppaFeel! breast cancer charity founder Kris Hallenga dies

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CoppaFeel! breast cancer charity founder Kris Hallenga dies

Kris Hallenga, the founder of breast cancer awareness charity CoppaFeel!, has died aged 38 after 15 years of living with the disease.

In 2009 she was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer at the age of 23, after being turned away from her GP for more than a year. By the time she was diagnosed, it was terminal.

A statement on the charity’s website said: “Kris was the biggest promoter of being ‘alive to do those things’.

“She approached life in a wildly creative, fun and fearless way, and showed us that it is possible to live life to the full with cancer.”

It added: “For 15 years Kris had been living with secondary breast cancer. She hasn’t lost a battle, she wasn’t in a fight and she certainly wouldn’t want you to see her death as tragic.

“She was simply living. She was 38 and died with fulfilment and a heart full of love.”

Ms Hallenga had said that CoppaFeel! was born because she was never told to check herself and she did not know she could get breast cancer at 23.

It then became the mission of the charity to educate young people about why they should start checking from a younger age so that all breast cancer is diagnosed early.

Her dream was that one day CoppaFeel! would no longer need to exist and late diagnosis of breast cancer might be eradicated in her lifetime.

With this in mind she campaigned for cancer education to be included in the school curriculum and wrote Glittering A Turd, which went on to become a best-selling book.

She won the Women of the Year Outstanding Young Campaigner award and received an honorary doctorate in public administration from Nottingham Trent University.

Those at CoppaFeel! who affectionately described her as “our founder, boob chief, colleague, friend and queen of glittering turds” are “committed to continuing Kris’ legacy, to ensure that everyone has the best chance of living a happy and healthy life”, the statement adds.

Ms Hallenga’s family have requested privacy.

The statement adds: “We would like to thank our community for your love and messages of support and kindly ask that you respect the family’s wishes at this time.

“Please remember the amazing life Kris led and the things she achieved, but above all else honour her memory by checking your chest… it could just save your life.”

NHS England’s national director for cancer, Dame Cally Palmer, said: “The work Kris Hallenga and CoppaFeel! have done to raise awareness of breast cancer and its symptoms, particularly in younger women, has led to many people coming forward earlier to get checked and receive the all-clear or a diagnosis as early as possible.

“It is an incredible legacy to leave behind.

“I want to urge everyone to be aware of their own bodies – please look out for lumps, or a change in the look, shape or feel of one or both breasts, and contact your GP if needed as early as possible, as the earlier cancer is diagnosed, the easier it is to treat.”

Published: by Radio NewsHub

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