‘Ultimate’ award for cancer charity work

A YOUNG woman from Daventry had her charity work recognised at a star-studded awards night in London.

Kristin Hallenga was named Ultimate Campaigner at the Cosmopolitan Ultimate Women of the Year awards, which were held at Banqueting House, Whitehall, London on Thursday last week.

The 26-year-old, who was diagnosed with breast cancer, started her own charity CoppaFeel, in October 2009.

She said: “It’s awesome to have won the award and the ceremony was so cool. It was another surreal moment in my life. I was in a room full of celebrities.”

In 2008 Kristin discovered a lump but was told by her GP it was probably down to her hormones.

Eight months later, the problem was still there and after getting a referral in February 2009 Kristin was told she had breast cancer.

Not only that, but it had spread to her spine and was at its most advanced stage, stage four.

Despite going straight into a serious course of radiotheraphy and chemotherapy, just a month after her diagnosis Kristin and her twin sister Maren launched their charity CoppaFeel.

It raises awareness of breast cancer, particularly among young people, and aims to encourage women to check their breasts regularly for lumps.

Miss Hallenga, who is undergoing hormone treatment for the cancer, which has now spread to her liver, said she has spoken to X Factor judge, singer Kelly Rowland at the awards event and added: “Kelly said she supported my campaign.

“The night and the award is another great thing to promote the charity and raise awareness.”

Since it was founded, the charity has gone on to gain high-profile support from a host celebrity names including Dermot O’Leary and Fearne Cotton.

This is the latest in a long line of accolades for Kristin who has also done work with Cancer Research UK, recently appeared on an Channel 4 documentary, won a Pride of Britain award, and was even invited to 10 Downing Street.

CoppaFeel’s latest project is the Boobettes.

The charity wants women aged 18 to 30 who have, or have had, breast cancer to sign up to help spread the message in schools, sixth forms and colleges up and down the country.

The closing date for people to sign up to the scheme is November 17, go to www.coppafeel.org for more information.