Local tributes flood in for Coppafeel! founder Kristin Hallenga

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Kristin Hallenga, the founder of Coppafeel!, an awareness campaign which promotes early detection of breast cancer in young women, has died at 38 after a 15-year-long battle with the disease.

The public health advocate was only 23 when she received the news in 2009.

By the time Hallenga was diagnosed, the disease had reached stage 4, the most advanced stage.

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Not only had the disease affected her breasts, but also her spine, her liver, and a lesion had formed on her brain.

Coppafeel! founder Kristin Hallenga dies at 39 from terminal breast cancer.Coppafeel! founder Kristin Hallenga dies at 39 from terminal breast cancer.
Coppafeel! founder Kristin Hallenga dies at 39 from terminal breast cancer.

Two months after the diagnosis, she and her twin sister, Maren, founded the charity Coppafeel! the UK's first breast cancer charity to educate young people about the disease.

It has since become the third most recognised breast cancer charity in Britain and has saved millions of lives.

Hallenga was inspired to start the charity after feeling confused about the general lack of awareness of the disease.

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“Why didn’t anyone tell me to check my boobs?” she said during an an interview with The Guardian in 2021.

“Why didn’t I know I could get breast cancer at 23? I’m pretty sure my friends don’t know either, and, if none of us do, then literally no young person in this country knows this secret. This needs to change.’ And I got this wave of energy,” she said.

Hallenga was born in Germany on November 11, 1985, and spent the first half of her childhood in the country until she, Maren and their eldest sister Maike, moved to Daventry, Northampton in the mid-1990s after their parents divorced.

In 2017, Hallenga moved to Cornwall to write her memoir Glittering a Turd which became a bestseller.

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Many Daventry people remember her fondly and have expressed their grief on social media.

Barbara Crockford one of the administrators of the Thank you Daventry for the Memories Facebook page, said: “Sad news Kristin from Daventry and founder of the breast cancer awareness charity Coppafeel! has sadly passed away.”

Linda Farrar commented: “Sending condolences to her lovely Mum and sister. Always remember her family coming in to see us when I worked at Ashby fields dental centre many years ago. RIP beautiful lady xx”.

Hazel Wilson said: “Kris and her family moved into my old house in St Augustin Way when l sold it. So sad for her twin and for all of the family.”

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Sue Carver said: “Such sad news. She did so much to raise awareness for breast cancer. A truly inspirational lady. RIP. Sending love to the family.”

Coppafeel! have released a statement on their website saying: “We share the sad news that our founder, boob chief, colleague, friend and queen of glittering turds, Kris, has died. 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."

If you would like to find out more about breast cancer and Coppafeel! check out their website at: www.coppafeel.org

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