Dorota Berus: New hope–and new shoes - Bristol Myers Squibb

When diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma, Dorota Berus made her choice to fight through fear: “I never give up.”

New hope–and new shoes

Renal cell carcinoma survivor Dorota Berus is grateful for the simple things since starting treatment with Opdivo.

Dorota never thought something as simple as a pair of shoes would bring her so much joy.

Dorota was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma (RCC) in 2013. RCC is the most common type of kidney cancer in adults—symptoms tend to go unnoticed until the disease is advanced. At the time of Dorota’s diagnosis and treatment, only 13 percent of patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (aRCC) survived for more than five years. 

“I had a huge fear that I would not be able to win against cancer. But every day, we are faced with a choice: to carry on or to give up,” Dorota said. “I never give up.”

After being diagnosed, she underwent surgery and intense chemotherapy, which had painful side effects. She spent months unable to wear shoes due to swelling and painful cracking skin.  For a time, she couldn’t even walk; she crawled to the bathroom on her hands and knees. She had extreme difficulty swallowing food and her quality of life was at an all-time low. But, as her family members attest, Dorota is stubborn.

“Your hard work bears fruit and we, as patients, can have new hope.” 
– Dorota

In 2016, Dorota, who lives in Sulechów, Poland, qualified for a clinical trial for Opdivo (nivolumab). A short time later, her cancer began responding to treatment.

The first thing she did was buy new shoes.

“Thank you for fighting each day so that next-generation drugs can enter the market and bring relief to those suffering,” Dorota said. “Your hard work bears fruit and we, as patients, can have new hope.”

Building on the impact of Opdivo monotherapy in patients who had received prior therapies, our researchers studied combinations of Opdivo and other treatments in newly diagnosed patients, leading to increased survival and response rates. Today, we have three Opdivo-based indications in aRCC. In 2021, we announced positive five-year data for one of those combinations, Opdivo plus Yervoy (ipilimumab), demonstrating survival of nearly half of patients with aRCC in a clinical trial.

Science Story

Unleashing the immune system to fight cancer

Read more >


More Patient Stories


Patient Story: Regina McDermott Smyth >
Patient Story: Nick Howe >
Patient Story: Monique Gore-Massy >
Transforming patients' lives through science

The touch that transforms

2021 Annual Report


Visit to see how we're bringing a human touch to everything we do. 

The patient stories shared in this Annual Report depict individual patient responses to our medicines or investigational compounds and are not representative of all patient responses. In addition, there is no guarantee that potential drugs or indications still in development will receive regulatory approval. This Annual Report contains statements about the company’s future plans and prospects that constitute forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ from those indicated as a result of various important factors, including those discussed in the company’s most recent annual report on Form 10-K and reports on Form 10-Q and Form 8-K. These documents are available from the SEC, the Bristol-Myers Squibb website or from Bristol-Myers Squibb Investor Relations. In addition, any forward-looking statements represent our estimates only as of the date hereof and should not be relied upon as representing our estimates as of any subsequent date. While we may elect to update forward-looking statements at some point in the future, we specifically disclaim any obligation to do so, even if our estimates change. This Annual Report also contains certain non-GAAP financial measures, adjusted to exclude certain costs, expenses, gains and losses and other specified items. Reconciliations of these non-GAAP financial measures to the most comparable GAAP measures are available on the company’s website at