A Newquay woman who founded a breast cancer charity has died.

Kris Hallenga, who established CoppaFeel, which raises awareness of the importance of young women checking their breasts for early signs of cancer, has passed away aged 38.

The campaigner was aged 23 when she was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer.

Kris was motivated to set up CoppaFeel to raise awareness as people were unaware young women could be diagnosed with breast cancer.

CoppaFeel went on to become the third most recognised cancer charity in the UK encouraging millions of young women to check their breasts, which has helped to save countless lives.

Kris won a Pride of Britain award for her campaigning and stepped aside as chief executive of CoppaFeel in 2017 to move to Cornwall and write a memoir titled, Glittering a Turd.

A documentary about her life and work called ‘Kris: Dying to Live’, was aired on BBC Three in 2014.

She held a living funeral at Truro Cathedral last year, which saw Dawn French reprise her role as The Vicar of Dibley.

A spokesperson for CoppaFeel said: “We share the sad news that our founder, boob chief, colleague, friend and queen of glittering turds, Kris, has died. Kris was the biggest promoter of being ‘alive to do those things’.

“She approached life in a wildly creative, fun and fearless way, and showed us that it is possible to live life to the full with cancer.

“In 2009 Kris was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer at the age of 23, after being turned away from her GP for over a year. By the time she was diagnosed, it was terminal.

“Kris’ ambition was for no one else to find themselves in her position and so CoppaFeel! was born, to ensure breast cancers are diagnosed early and accurately.

“Kris has reached millions of people with her message of health advocacy and empowerment, successfully campaigned for cancer education to be included in the school curriculum, won the Women of the Year Outstanding Young Campaigner award, received an Honorary Doctorate in Public Administration from Nottingham Trent University and wrote a Times Best Selling book: Glittering a Turd.

“Kris’ life mission was that CoppaFeel! would no longer need to exist, with late diagnosis of breast cancer eradicated in her lifetime. We are committed to continuing Kris’ legacy, to ensure that everyone has the best chance of living a happy and healthy life.

“For 15 years Kris had been living with secondary breast cancer. She hasn’t lost a battle, she wasn’t in a fight and she certainly wouldn’t want you to see her death as tragic.

“She was simply living. She was 38 and died with fulfilment and a heart full of love.

“Kris’ family have one request, for peace and privacy to allow them the time and space needed to process Kris’ death.

“We would like to thank our community for your love and messages of support and kindly ask that you respect the family’s wishes at this time.

“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.”