September 25, 2012
Life as a Marianist Volunteer
Katherine (Kat) Brumm, a native of Strawberry Point, a small town in northeastern Iowa, was enjoying her second year at Wartburg College in nearby Waverly when her parents arrived on campus one day to deliver sobering news.
“I was diagnosed with malignant melanoma,” says the 27-year-old who is participating in her first year in the Marianist Volunteer Program (MVP) in Karonga, Malawi, a country in southeastern Africa. Battling a life-threatening illness at age 20 taught her a lot, she says. “You realize that life is short and you’re not invincible. I had to ask myself, ‘What have I done that has mattered? Have I done anything for anyone else?’ In that moment, I felt so selfish. I told myself that if I got through this cancer thing, I wanted to do something for others.”