Rock star turns rock climber for new ward

by Darren Devine, Wales On Sunday
Feb 13 2011

A WELSH rock star who twice beat cancer has set up the first ever specialist children’s centre for the illness in Tanzania.

Alarm frontman Mike Peters raised the cash after trekking up Mount Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania, Mount Fuji, in Japan, and Pikes Peak, in the Rocky Mountains, Colorado, with his charity Love, Hope, Strength (LHS).

The new centre includes two wards at Muhimbili National Hospital. Visitors to the paediatric centre are confronted by the words “Tumaini, Upendo, Ujasiri”, which is Swahili for Love, Hope, Strength.

Peters, who was joined on treks by fellow musicians and medics recruited to his cause, said: “Few things are more rewarding in life than the feeling people get when they join forces to help improve the lives of children.

“All the agony so many experienced climbing Kilimanjaro, Pikes Peak and Mt Fuji is completely overshadowed by the knowledge that our collective efforts will help children in Tanzania in a very real way.”

Peters, whose band enjoyed chart success in the 1980s with Sixty Eight Guns, Where Were You Hiding When The Storm Broke and Rain in the Summer Time, added: “We are all proud, yet humbled to help open the new Tumani, Upendo, Ujasiri wards in Tanzania.”

When LHS was created in 2007 Peters said he wanted to use music to help people in the developing world access the cancer screening and treatment enjoyed in developed countries. He says the cancer complex in Dar es Salaam means the charity’s vision is now becoming a reality.

The 51-year-old, from Dyserth, in Denbighshire, set up his charity after twice beating chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. Along with wife Jules, 43, and fellow charity workers he’s helped raise almost $1m for LHS since it was set up four years ago.

Here in Wales, Peters has raised cash for the North Wales Cancer Centre at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, in Bodelwyddan, the Alaw Unit at Ysbyty Gwynedd, in Bangor, as well as several hospices.

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