We’ve all come into contact with someone that’s suffered from breast cancer. Yet it’s still a common misconception that breast cancer only targets older women. It’s a lesser-known fact that women and men of all ages can suffer this terrible disease too. Whilst that’s pretty depressing in itself, it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. The simple act of knowing your boobs, pecs or chest could literally save your life.
The team at Scentered are wives, mums, daughters, husbands, fathers and sons. Moreover, many of us have teenagers or sons and daughters in their early twenties. The inspirational story behind the charity CoppaFeel! and their life-saving message is something that resonates with all of us.
Who are CoppaFeel!?
There’s a really personal story behind CoppaFeel! Twin sisters, Kristen and Maren were in their early twenties. They should have been doing all the things young people normally do at that age, exploring the world, having fun with mates and beginning to put together the pieces of who they really are and their place in this world.
Unaware of the possibility of breast cancer at such a young age, Kristin found a lump. She was 22 and living in China at the time. Eventually she visited a doctor, three times in fact. It was only then that she was given the shocking news that she had secondary breast cancer and that it was incurable.
It immediately struck Kristen that there was very little information or support in the public domain for someone her age. Everything seemed targeted at the over 50s. Kristen will always live with cancer, but she’s taken her personal experience and done something incredibly positive with it.
CoppaFeel! was born out of a passionate desire to inform and educate others that breast cancer can happen to anyone, at any age, and at any time in their life. It was also clear to her that early diagnosis is massively important and that self-awareness and self-checks are fundamental in saving lives.
What do CoppaFeel! Do?
The charity’s mission is clear. ‘Our goal is to give everyone the best possible chance of surviving breast cancer.’
Kristen and her team soon realised that there wasn’t any point preaching their message from the comfort of their office. It soon became obvious that in order to get the message about regular self-checking out to young people, the charity would need to go directly to them. That’s why CoppaFeel! have ‘boobettes’, educators that speak to young people in their natural habitat. Whether it’s at a university campus, a festival, a toilet cubicle or on social media, CoppaFeel! are there, at the beating heart of those venues where young people can be accessed.
Their work continues to change lives by educating young people of both genders on the importance of regular self-checks or as it’s known in CoppaFeel! speak, ‘boob checks’. It’s about changing people’s behaviours, removing the shame and embarrassment, showing people how to carry out a boob check, creating more self-awareness so that people know what feels normal for them and what isn’t and ultimately, giving them the confidence to go to their doctor when it's necessary.
Apart from the army of Boobettes, the charity have a multitude of other initiatives to drive home their self-check mantra. Ranging from high-profile media campaigns to get the nation talking to a monthly boob checking text reminder service. They’ve teamed up with famous celebrities like Fearne Cotton, Dermot O’Leary and corporate brands including Asda and Avon. No just that, but they’re the creators of the simple but ingenious shower self-check reminder sticker.
The Impact of the Pandemic
It’s been a tough year for all charities with less opportunities to fundraise during ongoing restrictions and lockdowns. With social events cancelled, this has also meant that CoppaFeel! have not been able to access young people at outreach events. Instead, they’ve had to adapt and of course, during the past year, there has never been a better time to access young people through social media.
Despite being challenged in ways they could never have anticipated, the charity have
continued to educate and encourage young people to self-check. There’s nothing that brings home the impact that this charity has made than reading the stories on their website of people who received an early diagnosis as a direct result of CoppaFeel!'s work. Here at Scentered, we’re fully behind CoppaFeel!'s force for positive change and the transformative work they do particularly with young people. If you’d like to make a donation to CoppaFeel! to help them continue their life-saving work, click here.