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When Peters e-mailed the lyrics to Watson for The Journey's liner notes, the guitarist said he felt that the words represented three acts of the bandmembers' journey: redemption, healing, and the ability to move forward.
Over the past two decades, Peters himself has been on a fairly personal journey. In 1995, he was diagnosed with lymphoma, from which he's since recovered, and in 2005, he was diagnosed with leukemia. While at the cancer center in Wales where he was being treated for leukemia, he could see Mount Snowdon, and he thought, "When I get through this, I'm going to take all the Alarm fans, and we're going to go to the top of the mountain and we're going to sing a concert, and all the money raised will support the local cancer center."
While in Texas for a solo show at South by Southwest, Peters met Dallas-based CSI Entertainment Insurance founder and CEO James Chippendale, who was a fellow leukemia survivor. In 2007, the two co-founded Love Hope Strength, an international, music-centric cancer charity with its headquarters in Denver and chapters in Dallas, Peru, the United Kingdom and Australia.
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Through bone-marrow drives at concerts, music festivals and events in the United States and the U.K., the organization has signed over 35,000 people to the national marrow database in the last few years and has found more than 500 matches for people who needed donors. Peters says the initial aim of Love Hope Strength was to "think big, climb mountains and support local cancer centers," as he puts it, and the organization has done that, as well as helping build cancer centers in places like Kathmandu and Tanzania.
"It's not just about the fight against cancer," Peters points out. "It's about the preparation for the fight against cancer and making people realize it is a unique battle — that the outcome isn't always going to be determined by someone else. You can have a part to play in the outcome. If you can stay strong and resolve to be strong, having a strong mental approach to it is an incredible weapon.
"We're not saying that everybody's going to win," he goes on, "but with a positive mental approach to cancer, it can buy you time, and having time to spend with your loved ones — you just can't put a price on that. That's the most valuable thing you can have in the world.
"It's about fighting against cancer," he concludes, "but it's also about the love, hope and the strength that goes with it, and you're getting that from the fans, from your family, from your community and your friends all around you, and working together. It's a massive battle, and if we can play a part in it, then we can win."