A ROCKER who had a close call with death one year ago has spent the last five days trekking 43km through the Mont Blanc region of the Alps.

Mike Peters, best known as lead singer of The Alarm, and his wife Jules have just returned home to Dyserth after completing 'Rock the Alps Love Hope Strength Hike'. The challenge took 35 other Love Hope Strength supporters through Italy, Switzerland and France.

Frontman of The Alarm Mike relapsed and was hospitalised in September 2022 following an acclaimed national tour with his band [Mike was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia in 2005].

The rocker stopped responding to his medication and had to undergo a new gruelling treatment plan.

Rhyl Journal: Jules and Mike Peters led the trekJules and Mike Peters led the trek (Image: Love Hope Strength)
Jules said: "A year ago Mike nearly died but one year on, thanks to Glan Clwyd hospital, he’s alive and well and led a hike in the Alps to raise £100,000 for our children’s cancer hospital in Tanzania."

Trekkers for the challenge were from Australia, America and Europe.

Jules said: "Day one - we experienced lots of tricky ups and downs off-piste but the rewards of seeing the most spectacular views - waterfalls, glaciers, fields of blueberries, more than made made up for the tricky bits. Mike did a rendition of 'Wonderwall' to complete the day.

Rhyl Journal:  Day one of the trek took in waterfalls, glaciers and fields of blueberries. Day one of the trek took in waterfalls, glaciers and fields of blueberries. (Image: Jules Peters)
"Day two took in 17k of ascents and descents which were littered by breathtaking views, sheer drops, waterfalls and lakes. Mike and a few members of our trekking team were fearful of heights so together, we conquered our fears.

"Our reward for the longest day on day three was the perfect view of Mont Blanc in the distance.

"Day four and there was no time to waste, we had a mountain to climb. The metaphor of the mountain looming ahead always represents life living with cancer to me. You’re stood overwhelmed at the bottom, looking up to the summit which seems unreachable and then you set off, slowly slowly, pole pole, to eventually arrive at the unreachable summit, only to look back and see how far you have come. 

Rhyl Journal: Jules and Mike Peters on day two of the challengeJules and Mike Peters on day two of the challenge (Image: Jules Peters)
"Last year, Mike was so dreadfully poorly one year ago and we eventually discovered he was actually relapsing before our very eyes. He was unable to take a step, barely able to breathe and it was terrifying. To be in the Alps together one year later was mind-blowing.

"Our last day involved a moment of reflection, togetherness and celebration. It was so fantastic to have Mikey back on the guitar and entertaining the troops.

"Before the Trek, he studiously created a Special Love Hope Strength songbook of lyrics so that all the trekkers could join in and sing along. We brought tambourines and shakers and each night came together in the spirit of music."

Mike said: "Cancer has been part of my world for a long time. In 1995 I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and thankfully went into spontaneous remission. Since 2006 I’ve been living well with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia thanks to the fantastic care I’ve received from NHS teams in North Wales. In 2016 my wife, Jules, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Jules and I have always focused on the positives when dealt with these devastating diagnoses, and during the treatment we’ve received and the relapses we’ve faced over the past 28 years, but 2022 tested our resolve unlike any other.

Rhyl Journal: Mont Blanc in the distance!Mont Blanc in the distance! (Image: Jules Peters)
"Last September, back in 2022, I was lying in bed in hospital unable to move and being pumped full of various medications having been told I had relapsed. My voice and energy which I rely on as a musician were shot, and my optimism was waning. I couldn’t feel positive because initially the doctors around me were unable to share anything to help me feel better mentally or physically. For years music had been my escape to forget about cancer and live in the moment, but for a few weeks I could not escape cancer, and living in the moment was testing, painful and extremely tough not just for me, but for all my loved ones.

"Fast forward one year, and I am back. Positive, focused on the future and ready to show a very heartfelt thank you to all those who cared for me, who lifted me up, and who helped me never lose hope completely."

Rhyl Journal: Trekkers in the hostelTrekkers in the hostel (Image: Jules Peters)
Before the end of the year, Mike aims to raise $100,000 specifically for the Tanzania Children’s Cancer Service, operated by Tumaini La Maisha (TLM), in the Muhimbili National Hospital.


Mike said: "When TLM first started its services in 2005, 10 children in Tanzania developed cancer every day, and nine out of these 10 children would lose their battle with cancer. Only 120 children were treated back in 2005, but by 2022 956 were treated that year.

"Back in 2011, the Love Hope Strength Foundation funded new premises for the cancer service: the two wards and hotel in the children’s cancer unit in the hospital are still to this day called ’Upendo, Tumaini,and Ujasiri’, Swahili for Love, Hope and Strength.

Rhyl Journal: Entertaining the troops! Mike plays his guitar Entertaining the troops! Mike plays his guitar (Image: Jules Peters)
"Today, thanks to the dedication of the clinical teams and volunteers at the hospital, the survival rate for children with cancer is 50 per cent, with over 700 per cent increase in treatments."

Due to changes in funding from the hospital, Mike said the Tanzania Children’s Cancer Service is currently reliant on charitable funding to pay for scans and surgery as well as chemotherapy, transportation, staff wages including doctors, nurses, pharmacists and nutritionist salaries.

Mike plans to visit the team in Tanzania next year and supporters are welcome to join Mike and Jules on the life-affirming trip. Email contact@lovehopestrength.co.uk or visit www.lovehopestrength.co.uk for more.