CoppaFeel was started by Kris and her twin sister Maren Hallenga as a way to raise awareness amongst women (and especially young women) to check their boobs regularly. They’ve been featured on TV, been to 10 Downing Street, got celebrities doing fitness challenges for this great cause and now they’ve got plans afoot to start their own 10k run. Editor Heleana Quartey catches up with Maren.
What’s the story behind the beginning of the charity and what inspired you to help women learn more about their bodies?
It was when my sister Kris was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009, aged just 23. Neither of us had every been told to check our boobs. We didn’t even know we were at risk at such a young age. It soon occurred to us that we weren’t the only young women who had been blissfully unaware so we felt the need to address this. Our message is very simple – get to know your boobs by checking regularly. Know what is normal for you and if any changes occur that are not normal for you, have it checked out by your GP. There were a lot of breast cancer charities in existence when we set the charity up but we felt that none of them were talking to our age group. CoppaFeel! was born out of a need to right some wrongs and bring boob checking to the forefront of young people’s attention.
You get people doing exciting challenges for your cause – which one has been the most daring?
We love our supporters. They’re the reason we’re able to continue our life-saving work! We like to organise our own sporting challenges or piggy back organised events and rally teams together to take part. We have people doing mad things for us all the time. We currently have the amazing Sarah Outen crossing the Atlantic Ocean in a rowing boat in aid of us! Then there’s Eve, who is wearing fancy dress every day for an entire year as well as running a 10k every day for 100 days. These people inspire me personally to do great things too.
Here at Vitalicious we love the fact that you focus on vitality and feeling good. How was your time at the Be:Fit Festival in London?
Be:FIT was the perfect event for us to reach not only our target audience but also focus our attention on like-minded health conscious people. We met a lot of people who do a lot of amazing things to keep their bodies in perfect conditions – yet they don’t check their boobs. It was good to bring this important message there, especially as everyone was so respondent. We also encouraged everyone there to #GetABoobOn and support our work by taking on a Boob Challenge for us. It’s not everyday you get to strap on a giant boob so that was a real novelty for some.
I’m a huge fan of fitness challenges. I’m talking climbing, hillwalking doing the London to Brighton. I’m not a runner by a long stretch but I’ve done the 5k runs for charity before. If we wanted to join a fitness challenge on your behalf, how would we do it? How can we support this amazing cause?
First thing I’d recommend is staying in touch with CoppaFeel! via our social media channels as we have exciting things coming up all the time. We organise our own cycling event in Cornwall every year called the Hilly Hundred, we take part in many running events around the country – including 10k, half marathons and marathons – all of which are listed on our website.
We are also in the process of organising our very own 5/10k – so stay tuned for news on that! There are many ways to get on board #TeamBoobs so keep in touch with us and get involved!