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Peter Iwers sets childhood cancer 'In Flames'

Swedish band In Flames work internationally to stop childhood cancer.
Swedish band In Flames work internationally to stop childhood cancer.Patric Ullaeus /

Peter Iwers is the bass player of the hardcore Swedish metal band In Flames. Before joining In Flames, Iwers played with another popular Swedish band called Chameleon. When he isn't on the road or with his family, you can find Iwers at "2112" the very successful restaurant in Gothenburg, Sweden that he runs with fellow band member Bjorn Gelotte.

Barncancerfondenis a Swedish charity that fights to end childhood cancer and to ensure that affected children, teens and their families receive the care and support that they need.  The charity was founded in 1982 and since then the organization has contributed more than a billion dollars to childhood cancer research.

ICCCPO (International Confederation of Childhood Cancer Parent Organizations) was founded in 1994 and works as an umbrella organization representing 158 parent organizations in 85 different countries. Barncancerfonden works closely with ICCCPO in the United States. It is ICCCPO’s mission to share all cancer information so children around the world have access to the best possible treatment and care.

Interviewed By: Giacinta Pace

Introduction By: Meg Zrini

Q: What’s your cause all about?

Peter:  It’s a Swedish organization called BarnCancer which is basically [for] kids with Cancer. They collaborate with people here [in the US] from ICCCPO. I support that, we all do, mainly since everyone started families and everyone has kids and it makes you aware of the horrible stuff that can happen with this disease. We’ve done several charity things; we did a charity run last year. I have a restaurant in Gothenburg with Bjorn, our guitar player, we did a charity concert with another band we used to tour with, he played acoustic and instead of having people buy tickets we made them donate money to this organization.

Q: Why do you support this organization?

Peter:  I think it started out when I became a parent. At one point, we were all invited to visit a hospital in Gothenburg where we come from to visit kids who had cancer; I think some of them were big In Flames fans. Of course, we went and I think it affected us more than any of us even realized or imagined it could and since then I regularly try to donate money to it and do what I can. If there is a charity event or something that I can actually do to get money into this cause then I try to do it.

Q: Have you had any moving experiences while working with the charity?

Peter: There’s been a few. This one time we went to the hospital and met a kid, he was a huge In Flames fan and he passed away about a month after we went to visit him. Recently, I got to know this kid who really affected me and he wasn’t a child. He was nineteen years old, still very young. He found [out] he had cancer one day just out of the blue, his whole body was filled with cancer and it regressed and he was told that he was better. He was better for about 6 months and then he went back in and just collapsed and it had spread all over and they told him there’s nothing we can do, you’re going to die. He was a big in Flames fan and as it turned out we had a mutual friend and we were in my summer house with Bjorn our guitar player and our mutual friend and he said, "I know this guy." We went to visit him, just sat down and talk to him and for 19 years old, he had the wisdom of an old man. He had accepted that he was about to die and he had made peace with it. He told us such stories about the things that he was most pissed about. He said, I’m not afraid to die but I’m so pissed I never got to do this, I never got to do that. We hung out with him that day and then he came down to Gothenburg and we went out to dinner with him and hung out with him and [he] made me realize stuff that you never think about, you take for granted. He had his best friends, his family and me and Bjorn. We just sat there listening to this guy who had the wisdom of a 400 year old and it was so touching to talk to him. At the end of the night he broke down and cried but before that he was so strong and so powerful and that [it] really touched me. He passed away four days later. It was horrible.

Q: Anything else you want to add?

Peter:  People can donate to this organization in Sweden or to any organization that supports kids with cancer to try and help the science behind it and try to reach a solution sometime in the future because it’s horrible.