Dr. Mark Bloomston, surgical oncologist with 21st Century Oncology, was raised in Fort Myers, FL but left for Ohio to begin his clinical career. He returned home in 2015, just in time to help a pancreatic cancer patient in dire need of his expertise. Below is the story that appeared in the Fort Myers News-Press.
By Craig Handel
What is a pancreas, anyhow? I mean, I don’t know what the damn thing does for you, besides give you cancer.”
Tommy Lee Jones’ character of William ‘Hawk’ Hawkins in the film ‘Space Cowboys’
Never “in a million years” did Dr. Mark Bloomston think he’d return to Fort Myers as a surgical oncologist.
A call from a childhood friend piqued his interest. A Little League organizer with a memory for names reminded Bloomston that even though the area has evolved, the core of this community has remained the same. And he was needed.
So Bloomston came home again. He even lives in the same neighborhood he grew up in.
And Haley Sams-Casey couldn’t be more appreciative.
The persistent 41-year-old nurse was told surgery couldn’t be done for a tumor in her pancreas. She was given six months to live.
Three months ago, Bloomston removed the 3- by 5-centimeter tumor from her pancreas.
The life-saving surgery is becoming routine for Bloomston: It’s a procedure he has done more than 300 times before.
Patients and media have praised Bloomston. US News and World Report has rated him one of the top doctors in the nation, while his patients rank him in the top 10 percent in satisfaction.
He also has written 150 scientific articles and is on cancer committees.
“Between Lee and Collier County there are general surgeons but I don’t believe there is a surgical oncologist with his specialty in pancreatic cancer,” said Michele Moon Schumann, Bloomston’s childhood friend who sent him an e-mail asking if he’d be interested in coming back home. She’s now vice president of strategy and innovation for 21st Century Oncology.
“People who have that cancer either wouldn’t have it operated on or would have to go somewhere else.
“I’m glad he’s back.”
Click here to read the full story on the Fort Myers News-Press website.