CoppaFeel is a breast cancer awareness charity that has taken up the challenge of encouraging young women to become more breast aware.
Their mission is to hit 36 universities across the United Kingdom and educate their students about the early signs of breast cancer. Their rationale is that self-checking should become a part of students’ daily routine as, according to their mantra, “anytime is good for boob time.”
CEO and founder of CoppaFeel, Kristin Hallenga, was only 22 when she developed breast cancer. It took doctors a year to diagnose Kristin with her condition, showing the prevalence of the commonly held misconception, even in the medical profession, that young women do not develop breast cancer.
Whilst breast cancer may be more common in women over 50, it is also the second most frequently diagnosed cancer in women below the age of 35. Sadly, Kristin’s cancer had spread to her spine by the time of her diagnosis and is now incurable, but she has chosen to turn her tragedy into something constructive. With a humorous spin, the breast cancer charity she has founded aims to put “Boob Squads” on campuses up and down the country, including our own at the University of East Anglia.
UEA’s Student Boob Team, fronted by third-year English Literature student Hattie Grunewald, are promoting CoppaFeel’s mission across campus. By prompting UEA students to check their breasts regularly and to acquaint themselves with both their own bodies and the signs and symptoms of breast cancer, they’re making sure that Kristen’s message is heard by all UEA students.
“To keep it simple,” says Kristin, “we’re reminding students to do it in the shower. No more excuses, you’re already starkers and your boobs need some attention.” Students will also be encouraged to join up to a free SMS reminder service, which will urge them to check their boobs on a monthly basis. It’s trouble-free and only requires you to text UEA to 70500.
Kristin states that “by educating the young people of today, we can shape the future of breast cancer survival in times to come. Knowledge is power, this power will in turn save lives. I only wish that someone shared this knowledge with me.”
For more information on breast cancer or CoppaFeel at UEA and nationwide, visit the Boob Team on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/UeaCoppaFeel or at http://www.coppafeel.org/page/uniboobteams.