By Charlotte Rubery
As breast cancer awareness month is underway, you may have noticed a wash of pink around campus. During your twenties, the idea of being diagnosed with breast cancer is not something that is necessarily considered. However, for Kris Hallenga, 31, this experience too soon became very real. Having been diagnosed with incurable breast cancer aged just 23, Kris knows all too well that self-examination could be the difference between life and death.
Currently, women are booked in for mammograms shortly after their fiftieth birthday. However, Hallenga’s diagnosis taught her that there is very little information for young people about breast cancer. With this realisation, Kris and her twin sister founded CoppaFeel in 2009. The focus of their campaign was to promote the idea of women, ‘getting to know their boobs’, as early diagnosis could make all the difference to a successful recovery.
CoppaFeel aims to educate and teach women that the power is, literally, in their hands. Using our hands to check for and notice changes in our breasts could save our lives. CoppaFeel has, particularly in recent years, achieved a much larger presence on University campuses, fulfilling one of its aims to educate young women. The Royal Holloway ‘Uni Boob Team’ (UBT) are working hard to promote CoppaFeel on campus. Amongst a range of initiatives and fundraising events, the CoppaFeel committee are working with some of Royal Holloway’s sports teams. Women’s Football and Rowing are the most recent examples to fundraise and raise awareness of the cause. The sports teams have been extremely keen to embrace this, with one of the Women’s Football goalkeepers wearing the infamous ‘CoppaFeel Boob’.
Whilst these pictures are somewhat comedic, the sentiment behind them is far from it. These are fun and inclusive ways of promoting CoppaFeel at Royal Holloway, and the willingness of sports teams to get involved is absolutely fantastic.
What is Coming Up?
- December Glitter Party in Medicine – CoppaFeel takeover.
- Manicure Tent – have pretty hands to ‘CoppaFeel’ with! Planned to be in February 2018.
- Future sports team collaborations.
Getting involved couldn’t be any easier. Search ‘UBT Royal Holloway’ on Facebook and drop the team a message. Once you’re added to the team chat, you’ll see that there are numerous fun and engaging opportunities to get involved with on campus. The team are incredibly welcoming and approachable so don’t be shy in getting involved and supporting what really is a fantastic cause on your University campus.
Sign up to CoppaFeel’s free text service to get monthly reminders to check your breasts – text ‘UBT RHUL’ to 70500 to get your monthly reminders. Royal Holloway’s ‘Uni Boob Team’ will really be pushing the text initiative over the coming months.
Should you wish to find out more about CoppaFeel, you can do so through their website, https://coppafeel.org/, which also details fundraising opportunities you can get involved with. Don’t forget to support the Royal Holloway ‘Uni Boob Team’ on campus over the course of the coming months!