SUBSCRIBE | NEWSLETTERS | MAPS | VIDEOS | BLOGS | MARKETPLACE | CONTESTS
TRY BACKPACKER FREE!
SUBSCRIBE NOW and get
2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.

Also on Backpacker.com


Enter Zip Code

Backpacker Magazine – June 2013

Heroes: Mike Peters, 54

This alt-rock star helps fight cancer by combining music and hiking.

by: Heather Steinberger

PAGE 1 2
Mike Peters, 54 (lovehopstrength.org)
Mike Peters, 54 (lovehopstrength.org)
Mike Peters (lovehopestrength.org)
Mike Peters (lovehopestrength.org)
Kalapathar peak in Nepal (lovehopestrength.org)
Kalapathar peak in Nepal (lovehopestrength.org)

They set off in October 2007 with their eyes on Kalapathar, an 18,000-foot Nepalese peak with a basecamp-to-summit view of Mt. Everest. Carrying prayer flags inscribed with the names of loved ones touched by cancer, 38 musicians, survivors, and mountaineers picked their way through a rock-strewn landscape. At the summit, despite frozen fingers and burning lungs, the hikers strung up the flags as they whipped in the wind. Then the musicians pulled out guitars, drums, a harmonica, and battery-powered microphones and launched into the highest concert ever performed. As long plumes of snow blew off surrounding peaks, the singers belted out, “I’ll never give up without a fight.”
 
The concert was the brainchild of Welsh musician Mike Peters, still worshipped in ’80s New Wave circles as the founder of alt-rock band The Alarm. Peters survived non-Hodgkin lymphoma in the 1990s; less than a decade later, he was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. In December 2005, he was in a hospital bed in Wales, awaiting his first round of chemotherapy. “A friend said to me, ‘Mike, when you get through this, you’ll want to do something,’” he recalls. “He said I’d want to do it in an intimate and direct way, not just donate to the big charities.” A vision took shape in a matter of seconds, as Peters stared out the window at nearby Mt. Snowdon, Wales’ highest peak at 3,560 feet. “I thought, right, we’ll climb that.” 
 
Thus was born Love Hope Strength (LHS), an international cancer charity that brings musicians and hikers together to stage backcountry concerts, all the while signing up bone marrow donors and raising funds to support cancer centers worldwide. Since founding LHS with music industry mogul and fellow leukemia survivor James Chippendale in 2007, Peters has hiked roughly 250 miles with his guitar, including at Mt. Kilimanjaro, Machu Picchu, and Mt. Fuji (read about the 2009 Kili climb at backpacker.com/kiliLHS).
 
Incorporating the outdoors in his fundraising efforts was a no-brainer: Peters has camped and hiked since he was a child. He says mountains bring out unexpected emotions in people, heightened further by the LHS mission. “You’re all striving toward one goal, at the same pace,” he explains. Then there’s the music. “The lyrics have a different meaning, amplified by the surroundings,” he says. “Even two-minute bursts will bring people to tears and bring a quiver to a voice that wouldn’t be there in a noisy, sweaty rock venue.”
 
Since LHS’s inception, more than 6 million people have attended its bone marrow drives, concerts, hikes, and special events on six continents; LHS recently surpassed 500 lifesaving bone marrow matches. This summer, Peters will participate in his first-ever LHS hike in the United States, in Vail, Colorado (see right for details on how you can join). He can’t wait. “No two climbs are ever the same,” he says. “You’re tired, but there’s joy. There’s laughter. There’s hope in the fight against cancer. Every day, more people are winning.”



PAGE 1 2


Subscribe to Backpacker magazine
Sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter
Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip:
Email (req):

Reader Rating: -

ADD A COMMENT

Your rating:
Your Name:

Comment:

My Profile Join Now

Most recent threads

The Political Arena
Am I missing something here?
Posted On: Apr 17, 2014
Submitted By: Ecocentric
Trailhead Register
This is my 1000th post
Posted On: Apr 17, 2014
Submitted By: bigsilk
Go
View all Gear
Find a retailer

Special sections - Expert handbooks for key trails, techniques and gear

Check out Montana in Warren Miller's Ticket to Ride
Warren Miller athletes charge hard and reflect on Big Sky country, their love for this space and the immense energy allotted to the people who reside in Montana.

Boost Your Apps
Add powerful tools and exclusive maps to your BACKPACKER apps through our partnership with Trimble Outdoors.

Carry the Best Maps
With BACKPACKER PRO Maps, get life-list destinations and local trips on adventure-ready waterproof myTopo paper.

FREE Rocky Mountain Trip Planner
Sign up for a free Rocky Mountain National Park trip planning kit from our sister site MyRockyMountainPark.com.

Follow BackpackerMag on Twitter Follow Backpacker on Facebook
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
City:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
State:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions