Meet Ma

Ma, Jiangsu Province, China

Ma was 67 when she received the devastating diagnosis of gastric cancer. It was recommended that Ma and her family forego expensive treatment options, due to the incurable nature of her illness. Determined to save her, Ma’s family sought a second opinion at an alternate hospital, and it was there that they heard about the opportunity to participate in a Bristol Myers Squibb clinical trial. Hear about Ma’s resilient journey.

Click here to read transcript

Video Transcript



I was 67 years old when I got diagnosed. I was farming at that time, but my stomach hurt a lot. Farming was really taxing, and I had to work the field in hot weather. I easily got choked while eating, even if I ate very little.



I was hesitant to go to the doctor, we may not be able to afford it. My son-in-law, Dong, was very busy at that time. He was delivering fodder. He quit his work that day and brought me to the hospital. Two doctors from the county hospital gave me a gastroscopy. They were very sure that I had gastric cancer.



At the beginning, the doctor’s diagnosis was that her condition was serious, and it was a malignant tumor. The doctor told me that if your family is not too well-off, you should stop her treatment and take care of her at home. Don’t spend too much money on treatment because her illness can’t be cured.



After heading the doctors report, we couldn’t sleep for days when we came back.  My mother had worked so hard all her life. I couldn’t let her go.



They were very sad after they knew I was sick. I told them that I was old and there was no point to have treatment. But he insisted on taking me to the hospital in Nanjing. He didn’t want me to be treated in the county hospital.



I took her to the Provincial Oncology Hospital just to give it another try. The specialist told me we should qualify for this trial.


[Church Group Singing]



I go to church every Wednesday and Sunday. Sometimes I have a chat with other elder people nearby. Dong kept encouraging me to hang in there. It’s all worth it if I can recover. While I was really sick, we had to go to Nanjing every 21 days, but he never got impatient. He took me there every time.



21 days. Every 21 days he would put aside everything. He would take the day off from work, and he would bring her to the hospital every time. Ordinary people can’t do that.



My son-in-law is just like my own son. He is very good to me.



We are a complete family with her.



She feels uncomfortable when she’s not working. She said it’s good to be busy.



I like being busy. It makes me satisfied. We farmers like to work hard.

It’s all worth it if I can recover.

About Bristol Myers Squibb

Bristol Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. As global citizens, we work sustainably and responsibly to create a positive impact in the communities where we live and work.

Related articles