The hike was in preparation for a cancer charity climb of Mt. Rainier that the three will do with Montrose Search and Rescue Reserve Deputy John Rodarte in July.
They are in the final throes of raising money for the Mt. Rainier climb that each of them have been training for years for — through their volunteer service on the rescue teams and their lifelong love of the outdoors.
"Some of our own personal hobbies can benefit the greater good," said Leum, reserve chief of Search and Rescue for Los Angeles County. "Everything just sort of fell into place."
In some ways, that has been a good thing, and in others, not so good.
The series of events that have led Leum and his teammates to take part in the climb — organized through the Seattle-based Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center — have been marked with sadness and triumph.
Leum's mother died of pancreatic cancer. His sister is a breast cancer survivor. Sheedy, a fellow Mt. Rainier climber and rescue reserve deputy, lost his father-in-law to cancer, as well as a close friend and mentor. Wiseman found out his sister had breast cancer three days before he signed onto the charity climb in November.
Rodarte is climbing in honor of his receptionist at work, who is a breast cancer survivor.
"Eventually, it's going to touch all of us," said Rodarte, a physician who has a private medical practice in La Cañada Flintridge. "I'm well aware of the research dollars that are needed."
All four of these of volunteer rescue workers hope the Mt. Rainier fundraiser, borne out of the marriage of their cancer stories and their dedication to climbing, will help contribute to the ultimate triumph — a cure for cancer.
"All the money I raise, even if it was just one dollar, that could be the one that leads to something," Sheedy said.