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NEWS > Alumnae News > Stamping Out Breast Cancer, One Step at a Time

Stamping Out Breast Cancer, One Step at a Time

Charity worker Ria Patel, Class of 2006, is making a direct appeal to you, and all fellow alumnae, to back her fundraising mission for CoppaFeel, a breast charity cancer very close to her heart.

Please support me as I take on a personal challenge this September to help fundraise for CoppaFeel; a brilliant charity with the goal of giving everyone the best possible chance of surviving breast cancer. I think that's something we can all get behind.

In the UK Mammograms are offered on a regular basis to those who are over 50, but that doesn't mean that those under 50 don't get breast cancer. Unfortunately those who do are often unaware of signs or misdiagnosed. CoppaFeel focus on encouraging young people to get comfortable with checking their boobs and taking action if they notice any changes, while also working with the Government to raise awareness of breast cancer in young people.

The challenge involves five days/six nights of trekking and camping in the Scottish Highlands, covering close to 100km and crawling up several mountains, including the fourth highest mountain in the UK (Ben Lawers).

Although for some this probably doesn't seem that daunting, the last time I owned walking boots until yesterday, was back at LEH, a whole 16 years ago, whilst taking part in Bronze DofE. Although this didn't put me off walking entirely, it did make me realise the walks I enjoy involve ice-creams, chats and a warm bath and bed at the end of the day. So this will not only be a physical challenge for me but also a mental challenge. However, hopefully one I can take on with grace and integrity.

So, why am I putting myself through this?

In early 2018 my Mum was diagnosed with breast cancer and fortunately was able to catch it early on, helping reduce the treatment she needed and increasing chances of survival. However, despite mammogram reminders from the GP, it was only through the encouragement of her friend (who had also been recently diagnosed with breast cancer) that she opted to go for a check-up.

It was around this time I found the work CoppaFeel do and was amazed by their simple and empowering messages, to encourage people to check their boobs, rather than being scared to talk about them and scared to go for check-ups. Which is crazy given most of us know someone who has been affected by breast cancer.

Whilst Covid-19 has impacted all of our lives in different ways, for small(ish) charities like CoppaFeel (annual income of around £2 million, compared to Cancer Research's annual income of circa £670 million) it has had a huge impact on their funding. 

So here I am asking for your generosity, as I get ready to tackle the Scottish Highlands Trek, alongside others including Gi Fletcher and Emma Willis, to help CoppaFeel continue with the great work I believe they are doing.

To donate please click here:

To learn more about how to check your boobs please click here:

Thanks in advance,
Ria xx

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