Kris Hellenga, founder of CoppaFeel has written an article in The Sun about her latest treatment using a Gamma Knife ICON for brain metastases at the Queen Square Gamma Knife Centre. The ICON installed during the autumn allows patient to be treated using a mask, removing the need to use a headframe for suitable patients. In her article which can be accessed here she considers how amazing modern health technology can really be and pays tribute to the centre staff “..some of the kindest, most dedicated people I have ever met”.
CoppaFeel! was founded in 2009 by Kristin, pictured above with Will Kinnaird, Senior Radiographer at the Queen Square Gamma Knife Centre and the mask made for her treatment. Kris was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer at the age of 23. After finding a lump at 22, living abroad in China for 8 months and eventually visiting her doctor 3 times, Kris was told the news that she had incurable breast cancer. Kris was unaware that breast cancer could affect people in their twenties and knew very little about the disease. It struck her that there was very little information out there for young people, educating them about the disease, how they could be looking after themselves and informing them that breast cancer doesn’t just affect women over 50. Although Kris will always live with cancer, she wanted to get the message out there to young people that catching cancer early means you have a higher chance of surviving and recovering. She wanted people to learn from her story and become pro-active about their own health.
The idea for CoppaFeel! was born and by now has grown into a fantastic charity and we encourage you to find out more about their work here. Education & awareness is at the core of what they do with a mission to stamp out late detection and misdiagnosis of breast cancer by ensuring that people know the signs and symptoms of the disease, know what their boobs look and feel like normally, check their boobs regularly from a younger age and have the confidence to seek medical referral when they detect abnormalities.