Remember to check your boobs with CoppaFeel!

How well do you know your boobs? It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month and it’s about time we stopped feeling awkward when discussing all things breast-related. CoppaFeel! is the charity leading the movement to get us all having a squeeze of our boobs, and its founder is one incredible lady. 

At 23, you’re out partying, drinking too much and living your ‘best life’, right? Not if you’re Kris Hallenga. In 2009, when she was just 23, she was diagnosed with incurable breast cancer. Ten years on and she is showing us the true meaning of #girlboss.

After receiving this life-changing news, Kris came to realise that there was little to no information out there for younger people surrounding breast cancer. Sure, when you’re 50 you’ll get invited for a mammogram on the NHS; however, that doesn’t mean you’re in the clear before that! 2,200 women under 39 in the UK are diagnosed with breast cancer every year – and that number doesn’t take into account the men who might receive the same diagnosis! And although the number for under 25s is a lot smaller, it still exists.

So, instead of reacting how I probably would, by curling up in a ball and moaning ‘woe is me’ to anyone who would listen, Kris decided to do something about the evident gap in information. What began as a few friends asking women at festivals if they checked their boobs quickly developed into the fantastic, philanthropic organisation which we know as CoppaFeel!

Encourage, educate, empower is CoppaFeel’s motto. They’re working hard to make sure that we all know when, why and how we should be checking our boobs to look for signs of breast cancer – from text reminders to handy shower stickers. One of their many achievements was ensuring that from 2020, all secondary school students will be taught about cancer and how to check for the signs. Furthermore, they’ve produced e-learning tools to help us learn about how to check our boobs, and they’ve partnered with male cancer charity, Orchid, to educate more school children on the importance of checking their boobs, balls and pecs!

You can sign up for monthly boob check reminders or choose to donate to this invaluable cause. Whatever you choose to do, I urge you to give your boobs a squeeze and do not be afraid to talk about it, spread the word, and see your doctor if you’re worried.

And if you want to hear more from the badass woman who started this movement, I’d recommend Fearne Cotton’s podcast ‘Happy Place’ where she spends an episode chatting with Kris about CoppaFeel!, boobs and life in general.

Megan Rigby

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