carcinomatosis. Next, we need to confirm that for gastric cancer.” “The synergy between all of us interested in oligometastases [when tumor cells spread to other parts of the body and create new tumors] and specifically perito- neal disease at the University of Chicago is incredible,” Turaga said. “Thought leaders in medical oncology, gynecological oncology, radiation oncology and radiology, amongst other groups, are work- ing together, uniquely blended in with the translational research at the University to forge progress in this disease state.” Learn more about HIPEC by visiting https://www. uchicagomedicine.org/hipec. Gaining Hope and Healing After Cancer Throughout her busy career, Jessica Blackford-Cleeton has provided training on public education and reporting systems to fire departments, fire services organizations, and emergency management groups in Illinois and across the country. Still, nothing could prepare the 32-year-old for her own crisis. In 2015, following recurring fatigue and abdominal pain, Blackford-Cleeton was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive cancer that devel- ops in the linings of organs—most often the lungs, where it is linked to asbestos exposure. Blackford-Cleeton’s cancer was in the lining of her abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma). With the support and guidance of her care team at UChicago Medicine, she was able to understand and successfully navigate her treatment options. Her treatment included surgery to remove the cancer, followed by HIPEC. UChicago Medicine is one of the few hospitals that offers HIPEC for both adult and pediatric patients, and Kiran Turaga, MD, is an expert in the specialized procedure. Oncologist Hedy Lee Kindler, MD, the founder and director of UChicago Medicine’s mesothelioma program, led the care team. Blackford-Cleeton was most concerned about how the extensive surgery might affect her ability to have children. She understood that tumors were in many of her organs and they would have to be removed. Prior to surgery, she gave Turaga a wish list of what she hoped could be spared. “Dr. Turaga came through—he saved my ovary and even the belly button,” she said. “Everyone was extremely supportive of my goal to start a fam- ily.” One year after surgery, she was cleared to begin in vitro fertilization. In August 2017, Jessica and her husband were thrilled to welcome their son, Avery. (continued from page 16) Mesothelioma nurse Buerkley Rose, Dr. Kindler, Jessica Blackford-Cleeton, and Dr. Turaga 18 Powered by Innovation