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Kristin Hallenga

Kristin Hallenga

Turning terminal breast cancer into a successful life saving campaign

Having studied an HND in travel and tourism, Kris’s dreams of scaling the world looking for adventure started with a 6 month placement at a Travel company in Beijing. Learning a new language, culture, meeting new faces, experiencing new places, did not prepare her for what was to be a far bigger challenge - a secondary breast cancer diagnosis.

Cast straight into a blurry and unexpected chapter of her life, Kris was grounded and entered a frightening territory that she knew nothing about. She went from believing she was a normal healthy 23-year-old, to facing a boobless and hairless existence. But why was it that she got cancer? Why had she been so naive? Was she the only one? No.

Kris started her crusade to ensure that this wasn’t to happen to any other young woman in Britain and just 2 months following her diagnosis; whilst she still underwent treatment, CoppaFeel! was born.

Kris lead this unique breast cancer awareness charity with the aim to reduce the incidence of late detection or misdiagnosed breast cancer. Now in its 8th year, Kris and CoppaFeel! have successfully reached out to thousands of women in the UK and are beginning to save lives. She is now a part-time ambassador for the charity, so when she’s not with her team of 10 at Boob HQ in London, she is on the road making new awareness projects and campaign come to life, meeting with MPs, giving talks or writing her column for the Sun. She runs a charity that is responsible for some of the most daring and creative advertising campaigns in the UK, with an accolade of being shortlisted for Third Sector’s most admired charity CEO in Britain and presented with an honorary Doctorate from Nottingham Trent University for her services to women’s health in the UK. Some days she even finds time to have cancer treatments that keep her here!

After an incurable diagnosis, Kris is not cancer free – and never will be. But she’s keeping as well as she can. She pours her heart, soul and a truckload of kick–ass into making a success of CoppaFeel!, not only refusing to let cancer wreck her party, but refusing to let it ruin yours too.

Testimonials from Teachers

"What an inspirational woman, her talk received very good feedback from the students. Thank you."

– Kate Molan, Assistant Head of Sixth Form, Putney High School

"A truly inspiring young woman who had every student in the room completely engaged from the moment she started talking. Kris was extremely approachable and made our students feel relaxed and comfortable to ask important questions; questions they may have asked had someone else been stood in front of them. At no point did Kris' talk make our students feel scared or worried about breast cancer, instead it made them feel empowered, knowing that they could take matters into their own hands (literally). Kris spoke openly and honestly about her experiences and how she wants to make sure other young girls are aware that this isn't just something that affects over 45s but equally that it shouldn't be something to be afraid of. Kris was bubbly, charismatic, positive and an absolutely delight to have in to our school. She left all of our students feeling as though breast cancer was something they could now talk about openly with friends and family and not in a negative way. We will definitely be inviting her back next year to talk to more of our students!"

– Nicola Hinton, PE Teacher, Penair School​

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