Ex-navy pilot to hike across Devon and Cornwall after cancer

Image source, Charlie Peschardt

Image caption,

Charlie Peschardt piloted Royal Navy Sea King helicopters in Afghanistan

A former Royal Navy helicopter pilot is walking 100km (62 miles) along the Devon/Cornwall border, three years after surgery for kidney cancer.

Charlie Peschardt, from Tavistock, was diagnosed with stage-three cancer in 2020 and had his right kidney removed.

He then underwent a year of immunotherapy to try to reduce the likelihood of the disease returning.

The 44-year-old is now clear of cancer and is hoping his coast-to-coast walk will raise £7,500 for charity.

‘Big shadow’

The former RNAS Culdrose-based Sea King pilot first realised something was wrong when he woke up with back pain.

“Suspecting kidney stones, I called the GP the next day who took some bloods and booked an ultrasound,” he said.

“That ultrasound revealed a big shadow over my right kidney, and so began my journey to diagnosis and recovery.”

Image source, Charlie Peschardt

Image caption,

Charlie Peschardt said he was nervous but confident about completing his walk

Mr Peschardt started training for his hiking challenge in September, gradually increasing his walking distance over the following weeks.

His walk was set to start near Hartland Point early on 18 November, and he hopes to finish in Plymouth in the afternoon on 19 November.

“I’m a bit nervous but know that I have done decent preparation and other than extreme weather or injury, the rest of the barriers are mental and feel confident I have the mental resilience to push through those,” he said.

Mr Peschardt is raising money for Kidney Cancer UK which helped fund his treatment, and the environmental charity, Reduce Our Carbon.


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