Tributes paid as 'inspiring' CoppaFeel! founder Kris Hallenga dies aged 38

Tributes paid as 'inspiring' CoppaFeel! founder Kris Hallenga dies aged 38

Related video: Vans collaborates with CoppaFeel! for Breast Cancer Awareness Month


Tributes have been paid to the breast cancer awareness campaigner and CoppaFeel! founder Kris Hallenga, who has died at the age of 38.

Hallenga, who also published a book about her experience titled Glittering a Turd, set up the charity following a diagnosis of terminal breast cancer aged 23, after more than a year of being turned away from her GP.

The organisation encourages people to check their chest regularly for signs of breast cancer, and contact their GP if they notice anything unusual.

Testimonials contained in CoppaFeel!’s 2023 annual report credit the charity’s work with finding their cancers early, with one stating they “owe their diagnosis” to CoppaFeel! and another stating its awareness campaigns “saved my life”.

Needless to say Hallenga did some truly life-saving work.

In a statement released on Monday, CoppaFeel! wrote: “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.

“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.

“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.”

The statement concludes with a quote from Hallenga, in which she tells people to “trust your body, believe in hope [and] leave room for miracles”.

People have since shared their memories of the “legend” across social media:

Over on Instagram, singer and former Little Mix member Perrie Edwards wrote: “Heartbreaking. So sad to see this beautiful, courageous girl go. You did so much for so many people, I’ve never met anyone so strong and inspiring! Thinking of you, your family and loved ones!”

Broadcaster Greg James described her as “an unbelievably amazing person who saved countless lives”, while fellow CoppaFeel! ambassador Giovanna Fletcher said “what a woman”.

This Morning TV medic Dr Zoe Williams added: “An incredible life lived by an amazing woman who has changed the world. Sending love and strength to all Kris’s family and friends and a huge thank you to Kris. May you rest in peace whilst watching so many continue your wonderful work.”

Last year, Hallenga held her own 'living funeral' to celebrate her life, which saw Dawn French turn up as the Vicar of Dibley.

And speaking to in 2021 about how she wants people to look back on her life after her passing, Hallenga said: “I don’t want people to say ‘It’s a shame she died at that age’. Of course it’s a shame when anyone dies, but I want people to say ‘she did epic stuff – epic s***!’ I want people to remember that I was genuinely content.”

And epic stuff, you did, Kris.

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