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‘I’m also a stage 4 breast and Kris Hallenga showed me there’s still life to live, love and enjoy’: Cancer survivors praise heroic CoppaFeel founder for raising awareness – when she dies at the age of 38

Cancer survivors have praised CoppaFeel founder Kris Hallenga for raising awareness after he died aged 38.

Kris, from Cornwall, was first diagnosed in 2009 with incurable secondary breast cancer and was given just two years to live.

The campaigner has taught a generation how to ensure breast cancer is diagnosed early and accurately through her charity, which has shown millions of women how to check their breasts.

Survivors have expressed their gratitude to Kris in emotional tributes to the campaigner online.

“Kris was a total inspiration and lived an incredible life. I am also a stage 4 breast and she has shown me that there is still life to be lived, loved and enjoyed,’ one woman wrote.

Another said: “Such sad news, sending love to her family and friends. I am an 11 year BC survivor. and the first thing my girls at work (did) was to organize a CoppaFeel fundraiser when I was diagnosed. You will not be forgotten.

Kris Hallenga (right), pictured with radio presenter Fearne Cotton, has died of breast cancer aged 38

Kris Hallenga (right), pictured with radio presenter Fearne Cotton, has died of breast cancer aged 38

Cancer survivors and those with loved ones battling the disease hailed Kris for raising awareness and paying tribute to the campaigner

Cancer survivors and those with loved ones battling the disease hailed Kris for raising awareness and paying tribute to the campaigner

Kris, who had stage four breast cancer, has died aged 38, it was announced today

Kris, who had stage four breast cancer, has died aged 38, it was announced today

A third wrote: “Kris, you have no idea how much your work has and will impact the world forever. Reading your book last year helped my family live with hope that you can indeed live a full life despite stage 4 cancer. Love to you and your family at this sad time.

Others shared how Kris’ campaign helped their friends and family fight the disease.

“So sad to read this but happy that she is now cancer free, she gave me so much comfort as I came to terms with my mother’s diagnosis, while the hospital and medical professionals filled me with dread, her words always brought warmth and hope. and that’s what gets us all going when we’re dealing with shit!” one person wrote on Instagram.

Another said: “So sorry for your loss. I remember finding Kris’s page after my own sister was diagnosed with stage 4 triple negative cancer and feeling like there was hope.

“I was so inspired to see Kris living and thriving with her diagnosis. From one sister to another, I feel your pain.

In a statement on X, CoppaFeel! said: “We share the sad news that our founder, breast boss, colleague, friend and glitter queen, Kris, has passed away.

“Kris approached life in a creative, fun and fearless way, showing us that it is possible to live life to the fullest with cancer.”

Kris and her twin sister Maren took their charity CoppaFeel! to huge heights – including creating verification tools, projecting in the Houses of Parliament and displaying the first nipple on a billboard.

The charity has a huge following on social media and encourages women to check their breasts for signs of cancer.

Kris, left, was initially given just two years to live but defied the odds

Kris, left, was initially given just two years to live but defied the odds

Kris made a conscious decision to face her illness and take advantage of every opportunity

Kris made a conscious decision to face her illness and take advantage of every opportunity

Kris is the best-selling author of Glittering A Turd, seen here with an ad for her book detailing how she discovered her life after being told she was going to die

Kris is the best-selling author of Glittering A Turd, seen here with an ad for her book detailing how she discovered her life after being told she was going to die

Kris is the best-selling author of Glittering A Turd, a book detailing how she rediscovered her life after being told she was going to die.

In its statement, CoppaFeel added: “In 2009, Kris was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer at the age of 23 after being rejected by her GP for over a year.

“By the time she was diagnosed, she was terminal. Kris’s ambition was that no one else would find herself in her position, and so CoppaFeel! was born, to ensure that breast cancers are diagnosed early and accurately.

“Kris has reached millions with her message of health advocacy and empowerment, successfully campaigned for cancer education to be included in the school curriculum, won the Outstanding Young Women of the Year Award and received an honorary doctorate in public administration from Nottingham Trent. University and wrote a Times Best Selling book: Glittering a Turd.

Kris’s mission in life was to CoppaFeel! it would no longer need to exist, the late diagnosis of breast cancer being eradicated in her lifetime. We are committed to continuing Kris’ legacy to ensure that everyone has the best chance to live a happy and healthy life. If you would like to support this mission, you can donate here.’

The charity added: “Kris had been living with secondary breast cancer for 15 years. She didn’t lose a battle, she wasn’t in a fight, and she certainly wouldn’t want you to see her death as tragic. He was simply living. He was 38 years old and died fulfilled and with a heart full of love.

The ‘Kris’ family has only one request – for peace and privacy to give them the time and space they need to process Kris’ death. We would like to thank our community for their love and messages of support and ask that you respect the family’s wishes at this time.

“Please remember the amazing life Kris led and the things she accomplished, but above all, honor her memory by checking your chest… it could save you life.

“Trust your body, believe in hope, leave room for miracles.” Chris Hallenga.

“With love from everyone at CoppaFeel! HQ x.’

Breast Cancer Now also paid emotional tribute to Kris, describing her as “a tireless force for breast cancer”.

The charity wrote on X: “Heartbroken to hear that Kris Hallenga, founder of @CoppaFeelPeople, has passed away.

“Kris was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer in 2009 when she was just 23 years old and has been a tireless force for breast cancer awareness and early diagnosis ever since.”

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