Simon Cowell Honors Kris Hallenga

Tributes pour in for impactful charity leader Hallenga.

by Nouman Rasool
Simon Cowell Honors Kris Hallenga
© Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images

Kristen Hallenga, the charismatic founder of CoppaFeel!, a campaign of breast cancer awareness, died at 38. Diagnosed at age 23 with stage four secondary breast cancer, she outlived her two-year prognosis to live more than a decade, dedicating her life to saving others through early detection education.

Hallenga, who was 19 at the time, confirmed that she had died yesterday after fighting an intense battle with cancer for over 15 years. Her efforts have not only raised awareness but have also garnered high-profile accolades and support, including from celebrities like Simon Cowell and Dawn French.

"Kris's love and passion for life has inspired, saved, and will continue to help countless people. Her light and legacy will live forever," said Cowell, who had only briefly met Hallenga in person at the Pride of Britain Awards.

Kristen Hallenga's Legacy

The only UK charity to teach young people how to understand breast cancer, CoppaFeel! was founded by Hallenga. All of these ideas had not been thought of before – projecting the images of the campaign onto the Houses of Parliament, displaying the first bare nipple to appear on a billboard – in the fight against cancer.

Innovations such as the Festifeel music festival, the leading position to ensure that cancer awareness lessons now form part of the school curriculum, and many others, which are due to the guiding hand of Hallenga, who was therefore always going to be a revolutionist in her battle for life for longevity.

She had shared her reminiscences over an online platform, with her friend Ferne Cotton, who even designed her a tattoo to cover one of her surgery scars. "I've spent today looking through so many photos of the brilliant, silly, magical, and special times we spent together," Cotton said.

"I realize now that [Hallen] was someone who lived fully, more than I've ever seen anyone live," she added, and said she would light a candle in her memory. It is a tale of personal survival for Kris Hallenga, and one that doubles as an amazing public health education story.

She has mobilized an army of "Boobettes" in order to carry on her work with CoppaFeel!, spreading the word and educating fellow students on the importance of regular self-breast checking. She has forged an indomitable path and helped place her mark on the battle against breast cancer, ensuring that her influence will be felt for generations to come.

Simon Cowell