Meet Severyne

Severyne lives with a chronic cancer. While she knows her cancer may return, she chooses hope over fear. She looks to the positive side of her journey — meeting new people, receiving promising treatment options and cherishing the sweet moments in her life. Hear what keeps her hopeful as she navigates life with this disease.

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Video Transcript



I think that when faced with an illness you cannot know how you will react. The first time I felt like that, at night, I was in so much pain, unimaginable. I can see it, I was like this, on the ground, on the floor. Like an animal in the headlights of a car.



I have a daughter named Mae-Li. When you’re sick, you also want to protect the people you love. And I didn’t want to talk about cancer. Because I think the word cancer can be very scary. I didn’t want her to be very scared. 



My daughter is a scientist. She discovered my disease from the scientific side. She understood the cells in the blood, the role of each, which does what. She had a scientific explanation, so she was able to take ownership of this illness. But without using the word cancer. At no point did I use the word cancer. We always speak about remission while knowing that it is chronic. It’s not that it may, it will come back. I just don’t know when.



I don’t want to talk about it. 



Yeah. The problem is that it’s complicated to talk about. I think we take advantage of all the moments. I love…the surprises that life holds. Today I meet people… that if I had never been sick, I wouldn’t have met you. People who come from different backgrounds and all. That’s what I love in life.



The first time I fell sick I had a single focus, I had a date in mind, it was going back to work. That’s what my work is, it’s about making others discover things, making others discover experiences. It’s a sharing, a deep sharing. It’s my passion. And I’m lucky, I work in it, it’s great.



Having a chronic disease [means] you permanently have something like the sword of Damocles above your head. Meaning you’re healed, look now I’m fine, everything is going well, etc. But I know somewhere deep inside of me that one day it will all start over. Each time you have to find the courage [and] the motivation. In fact, a relapse is a failure. It’s telling yourself everything I’ve done, everything I’ve endured, everything, all of that – no longer works. We have to start from zero. We know that we will have to climb that mountain again. And that it won’t be simple. In every challenge there is always something positive. Well, you look for it, and charge [forward].



I relapsed again. Relapses don’t get any easier. I was angry, but less angry. And in fact, I was offered a new treatment. I wanted to be part of this adventure. I told myself, let’s go. And surely there are lots of people who actually do the research, and it’s not just one person, it’s centers of research and development. It’s lots of people who look into their test tubes. In fact, it gives a lot of hope. It allows you to focus on something, to look towards the future. Hope. Hope is what makes you live. Thank you. No other words.
In every challenge there is always something positive.

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.

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