2013 has been a significant year for Love Hope Strength (LHS). All that our charity has achieved has been made possible through the support, dedication, friendship and togetherness offered by our loyal supporters throughout the world.
When James Chippendale, Jules Peters and myself sat huddled around a laptop in Wales registering the domain name Love Hope Strength back in 2006, I don’t think any of us imagined the reach our charity would achieve in such a short time. LHS has come so far since that first day and is now a truly global concern with chapters in the UK, USA, Australia and Mexico.
Through our valued and growing partnership with Delete Blood Cancer our unique ‘GET ON THE LIST’ campaign has garnered the support of major musicians and performers such as Robert Plant, Enrique Iglesias, Kenny Chesney, Linkin Park, The Levellers, Chuck Ragan, Frank Turner and many others. In total we now have over 15,000 artists and musicians supporting Love Hope Strength. The power to save lives through music has been amplified through their participation and we will be calling on all of them in 2014 to help us make a massive difference.
Working together, we have been able to sign up over 55,000 people the international marrow registries and locate over 780 potentially life saving matches for individuals suffering from blood cancer who need a second chance to live.
In partnership with AEG, ReverbNation, SixthMan, Live Nation, and others, LHS has been swabbing cheeks and saving lives at prestigious music events, venues and festivals such as Isle Of Wight, Rombello, Bumbershoot, Austin City Limits, Beautiful Days, Bonnaroo, The Royal Albert Hall and Red Rocks Amphitheater, to name but a few.
With the support of powerful agencies like UICC (Union for International Cancer Control), OVAC (One Voice Against Cancer), Critical Mass and relationships with politicians and lobbyists, in both Washington and Parliament, we have been moving ever closer to the heart of where the big decisions about cancer care are being made. In June this year, we were able to host the first ever cheek swab donor drive in the House of Commons and raise the age of donors in the UK from 30 to 55 (in line with US and German guidelines). Our long held dream of hosting a UK GET ON THE LIST campaign is now underway and we have registered over 3,000 people in the last few months. In 2013, we also launched Love Hope Strength Mexico, where we will soon be doing drives to save the lives of Hispanics around the world that are in need of transplants. In Australia, we will soon be launching our GET ON THE LIST campaign, kicking off at the global cancer conference in December 2014.
The individual and grassroots donations to our cause have grown considerably with people going to incredible lengths to raise awareness and help for others suffering from cancer. Inspiring stories about cycling route 66, running marathons and climbing mountains have reached us on a daily basis with all proceeds helping to fund our drive campaigns and cancer care initiatives at places like Bhaktapur in Nepal, Ocean Road Children’s Cancer Unit in Tanzania and the Alaw Day Unit in Gwynedd Hospital in North Wales.
Our signature ‘Rocks’ events continue to grow with participants from both sides of the Atlantic, and beyond, turning up in the most unexpected places and helping locals understand that their participation is connected, not only to their own community, but to a worldwide struggle. Vail Rocks in Colorado and Ben Nevis & Mt. Snowdon in the UK are all back on the calendar for next year alongside new adventures being planned in Mexico, Australia, the Holy Land and more.
Through a wonderful working relationship with Kaleidoscope Pictures we have an exciting LHS movie project in the pipeline that will tell the moving story of our charity to date.
For the ones we do this for, the people with cancer, there is hope with the news of the imminent release of a major drug (Ibritinub) that will, hopefully, significantly improve the lives of people who suffer from blood cancers like Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia proving that our battle is progressing and that cancer really is on the run.
With your continued support in 2014, we hope to make our message of Love Hope and Strength even louder and drive home the message that one day, cancer will be beaten.
On behalf of everyone associated with Love Hope Strength we wish you well and thank you for being part of our mission to save lives one concert at a time.
Love hope and strength,
Mike Peters and James Chippendale
Founders of Love Hope Strength