by JENNIFER FRAKES | photos by Zeena Gregg Photography

Ties That Bind

Twenty years ago, Mariah Sharkey-Brumund and Kevin Brumund met at the library of Rush University in Chicago, Illinois where Kevin was attending medical school and Mariah was earning her master’s degree in nursing. “I dropped a very large reference book – twice – into the return bin to get his attention,” laughed Mariah. Fast-forward to the present, and the couple has three children (Zephyr, Sharkey Kathleen, and London Thomas) and successful careers in the medical field. Mariah works at the VA Medical Center in La Jolla as a nurse-anesthetist (CRNA). Kevin is a head and neck cancer surgeon at the University of California, San Diego and Chief of Head & Neck Surgery at the VA Medical Center. “Kevin is humbled and happy to have been chosen as one of San Diego’s ‘Top Docs’ for the last five years. He tells our children each morning that he is trying to make things a little better today for someone,” shared Mariah.

The family’s mantra:
“Help each other, love everyone, be slow to anger, be quick to forgive, and say only sweet words.”

This care and concern for others is reflected in the family’s mantra to “help each other, love everyone, be slow to anger, be quick to forgive, and use only sweet words.” According to Mariah, before meals, each member of the family states what he or she is grateful for that day. Although the answers may vary from comical to serious, the sentiment is always the same – the family is happy to be together. “We are tight as a family. We love hanging together, whether it’s a bike ride, sharing our love for books with one another, or grilling in the backyard. We also try to instill how we are not just passing through this life but we need to leave this world better than we found it,” related Mariah. She and Kevin are committed to teaching their children how important it is to contribute and feel a sense of service.

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The three Brumund children are very active in the community and are passionate about their interests. Eleven-year-old Zephyr is a red belt at the Center for Martial Arts. “We really admire this studio and how they teach. Both our daughters dance at Love to Dance Inc. and compete regionally and nationally. The dance studio has brought joy to us and reminds us of the value of discipline and hard work,” stated Mariah. All three children play the piano and enjoy swimming, skiing, and playing with their good friends in their beloved Carmel Valley neighborhood.


Parents: Kevin Brumund and Mariah Sharkey-Brumund
Children: Zephyr (11), Sharkey Kathleen (9), and London Thomas (8)
Community: Pacific Highlands Ranch
Hometowns: Kevin – Joliet, IL; Mariah – Yuba City, CA
Professions: Kevin – surgeon; Mariah – nurse anesthetist
Pet: Sweetness Payton Brumund (named after Walter Payton from the Chicago Bears) – beloved ten-year-old Shetland sheepdog, loyal and protective against UPS/Fed Ex/the mailman
Favorite Local Spots: Ocean, Carmel Valley Branch Library, Carmel Valley Skate Park, and The Village at Pacific Highlands Ranch

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