LGBTQ+ advocate and CoppaFeel! founder Kris Hallenga has passed away with ‘a heart full of love’

CoppaFeel! founder Kris Hallenga, who was a keen LGBTQ+ advocate, has passed away aged 38 with “fulfilment and a heart full of love,” the charity has confirmed.

The founder of the breast cancer awareness charity has died after living with the disease for 15 years.

CoppaFeel! was founded in 2009 by Kris (Kristin) Hallenga and her twin sister, Maren, following her diagnoses with stage four breast cancer which spread to her spine at the age of just 23.

Her own diagnosis led her to want to warn other young people of the disease and the importance of getting checked and detecting cancer early. 

Hallenga, who was single, was an LGBTQ+ advocate who had previously spoken out about the importance of all cancer patients being treated the same, regardless of their sexuality.

CoppaFeel! described Hallenga as the “biggest promoter of being ‘alive to do those things’” and shared that her optimistic approach enabled others to see “that it is possible to live life to the full with cancer”. 

The charity added that Hallenga “hasn’t lost a battle” and she wouldn’t want anyone to see her death as “tragic”. 

“She was 38 and died with fulfilment and a heart full of love. Please remember the amazing life Kris led and the things she achieved, but above all else honour her memory by checking your chest … it could just save your life.” 

The charity added that through her work, Hallenga managed to reach “millions of people”. 

We share the sad news that our founder, boob chief, colleague, friend and queen of glittering turds, Kris, has died. Kris approached life in a creative, fun and fearless way, showing us that it is possible to live life to the full with cancer. Statement at https://t.co/cTQSOTo00Z pic.twitter.com/tkQ7ZMih6v

— CoppaFeel! (@CoppaFeelPeople) May 6, 2024

Her campaigning has seen her win the Women of the Year Outstanding Young Campaigner Award, receive an honorary doctorate in public administration from Nottingham Trent University and write a Times bestselling book: Glittering a Turd.

A fundraiser has been setup in celebration of Hallenga with the disclaimer that Hallenga’s family have “one request: for peace and privacy to allow them the time and space needed to process Kris’ death”. 

At the time of writing this almost £2,000 has been raised for CoppaFeel!

It’s not yet known when the Hallenga’s funeral will be held, however, last year on 10 June she held her own “living funeral” which was a fun-filled celebration of her life that saw Dawn French giving the eulogy in character as The Vicar of Dibley. 

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