It’s breast cancer awareness month and your MFML subscription this October will help us to donate to the fabulous CoppaFeel!
CoppaFeel! the breast cancer charity, is resolute in its mission to start early in educating young people on the importance of checking our boobs and knowing the symptoms of breast cancer.
Founded in 2009 by Kris Hallenga who was misdiagnosed with breast cancer twice at the age of 23 and now lives with secondary breast cancer.
CoppaFeel.org is a truly fantastic resource – everyone with a pair of boobs – or pecs (men get breast cancer too) should head over and get to know their boobs.
We had the pleasure and privilege of asking Kris a few questions…
What’s the best part of being the founder of CoppaFeel!?
I guess being the founder of anything is pretty cool, but to start something as meaningful as CoppaFeel! has been the proudest thing of my life. Of course running your own venture has its moments and it’s been beyond tough but I believe nothing worth doing is ever easy! I was lucky to be surrounded by awesome people who believed in me and helped me get the charity to where it is today.
How did you find the energy to build this incredible movement?
I still don’t really know! I ask myself that too. What I do know is that passion and determination is very very motivating. And when you are going through something as tough and quite frankly annoying and often DULL as cancer you need all the distraction you can get, mine just happened to be the beast that is CoppaFeel!
You already do so much – at schools, universities, work, surgeries. Where might CoppaFeel! be going next?
I am personally really keen for us to reach more vulnerable and harder to reach groups. I don’t think we tackle the issues of breast cancer amongst BAME groups and that different cultures and religions impact boob checking behaviour. It’s something we really need to get to understand better.
Which of CoppaFeel!’s achievements make you proudest?
Everything! But that’s a lame answer. I will always and forever be proud of the moment when we got our very first email from a young woman who’d got an early diagnosis thanks to the awareness and education she received through us. She’s one of our Boobettes now, living well, thriving in fact, with cancer very much in the past.
We love your text reminders and your bra and shower hijacks. What’s your top tip for creating a healthy habit?
Reminders certainly help. We want to make it as easy as possible for people to wedge boob checking into their life and for there to be no excuses not to do it. The more you do it, the easier it becomes a habit so the best advice would be to check right this minute….
What do you say to someone who feels awkward talking about boobs?
They don’t need to talk about them, they need to check ‘em. The more familiar you become with your boobs the more easily you’d pick up if something wasn’t right or something had changed which in turn makes you more confident to bring it up with someone who needs to know, such as your GP.
Apart from the boob checking, what are your other self-care rituals?
Baths. Loooooooong hot epsom salt baths. And sea dips. And yoga. And rebounding. And cat petting.
How does Yoga help you and how often do you fit it in?
Most days I have a good stretch out on my mat at home. I have gotten bad at going to classes recently so being able to do virtual classes from my home will be a HUGE help. Yoga is good for my achy joints and bones that have had to endure cancer for 10 years now. The treatments I take make me stiff so I need to keep moving and stretching or I’d seize up like an old car. It’s also so helpful to check in with my mind, get some deep breathing and allow myself time away from STUFF.
What is the last book you read?
Kathryn Mannix – With The End in Mind
What’s been your soundtrack this month?
Rae Morris – Someone Out There. “Do it” is such a wonderful and motivating and fun song! Stick it on and dance in your pants.
True inspiration, ive been diagnosed with secondary breast cancer after being diagnosed firstly in 2008, its a sneaky little buggar is cancer. Ive taken up yoga but just had a little lumpectomy on my, reconstructed boob go figure
Oh Jo, I do so feel for you. Yes, Cancer sure is a sneaky one… Wishing you every strength, just maybe this challenge will help you to keep strength through your recovery? https://movementformodernlife.com/challenge-take-heart-recover-gently
Gentle hugs, Kat x
My mum has just been diagnosed at 82 with stage 4. Awesome to see such a strong story of hope and survival. Wishing you a long and happy life Kat x
Gosh, Julie, I’m so very sorry to hear that. But you’re right there are plenty of stories of hope and survival through the worst of diagnoses. Wishing you and your mum plenty of strength and courage. I’m not sure if you’ve seen this, but we of course have our course for those recovering and healing: https://movementformodernlife.com/challenge-take-heart-recover-gently – but we also have this course which is perfect for carers to take courage at tricky times… https://movementformodernlife.com/challenge-build-courage-resilience – I do hope that perhaps some of these practices might help at this really tough time Kat x