Message from Mike Peters
When Jules completed her treatment for breast cancer we agreed that we wanted to do something incredible together: something memorable to celebrate what feels like a new beginning, and something which will help others who have similarly been affected by a cancer diagnosis.
We decided to Rock the Canyons, and we are very excited that the time has come to do just that. This Sunday, 38 of us will meet in Phoenix, Arizona, to embark on a 5 day trek across the Grand Canyon, Bryce and Zion Canyons, all in the name of Love Hope Strength. Our trek ends in Las Vegas on Saturday 20th October at the Desert Pines Golf Club, where my friends and fellow trekkers Billy Duffy from the Cult and Robin Wilson from the Gin Blossoms will be joining myself and The Alarm for a very special, up close and intimate, unplugged gig, ‘Rock the Pines’ organised by the fantastic LHS supporters, Arcis Golf.
I know, as we have when we’ve organised Everest Rocks and Kili Rocks, Snowdon Rocks and all the other memorable hikes that LHS has staged over the past decade, we will have great fun whilst trekking. It will also be tough. I know that as a group we will have some shared experiences which will stay with us forever. Most importantly, I know that the money we collectively raise through this hike, and all the other hikes we are planning to organise, will help save lives.
LHS are very lucky to have some fantastic support from our partners, DKMS, from supporters in the US and UK like Arcis and from its phenomenal team of volunteers. As many of you will know, thanks to this support, LHS has now delivered over 170,000 people to the international bone marrow donor list. This has resulted in 3,316 direct and potentially lifesaving matches and more matches are being made every month.
As well as equipping hospitals and community cancer services in the UK and USA with new facilities and equipment, LHS has also already built and supported cancer centers in Tanzania and Nepal and we aim to do lots, lots more. The money raised through this trip will help fund LHS’ Get On The List programme and support schemes for equipment and facilities to help families affected by cancer. We have approached the Partnership for Native American Cancer Prevention and others to ensure that some of the money raised will benefit those who live in the area where we will be trekking. This is keeping with tradition; one of the objectives of LHS treks has always been to help support the most vulnerable families affected by cancer in the area where the trek takes place.
When we laid out our plans to rock the canyons a number of people stepped forward to take part. Unfortunately, some of those who were planning to come on this journey are no longer with us or are too unwell to join in this year. This leaves us with a stark reminder of why we’re doing this, and why seizing the opportunity to spend time with great people, enjoying the great outdoors is important. We will certainly be thinking of those who should have been with us when we make our way across the canyons.
Jules and I are so fortunate to have excellent care and treatment available in Wales, and both of us are doing well at the moment. We are very thankful, but know that we need to keep doing more so others can benefit from the medical support and care they need. That’s what’s motivating us to keep walking, talking and making music in the name of Love Hope Strength.
Thank you to the Rock the Canyons trekkers who have worked so hard in preparation for the trek to raise money so that LHS can keep saving lives, one concert at a time. Thank you to everyone who’s supported them already and please, if you can, show your support whilst we trek for Love Hope Strength over the next week.
If you’re in the UK please donate to:
If you’re in the USA please donate to:
Follow our trek over the next week to see how we fare in the American Southwest. Hopefully the hardy trekkers, all of whom have their own inspirational stories and reasons for taking part, will inspire you get involved in other Love Hope Strength adventures in the future.
Co-founder of the Love Hope Strength Foundations (LHS)