Today we remember Dr. Damira Bayzakova, a CML specialist and cancer advocate from Kyrgyzstan who passed away on November 16th 2020, due to complications with COVID-19. Dr. Bayzakova was an implementing partner for The Max Foundation since 2006, and was monumental in bringing life-saving treatment and cancer diagnostics into Kyrgyzstan.

Dr. Bayzakova (right) with Laboratory specialist, Dr. Govrilenko, standing next to their newly procured diagnostics machine.

Dr. Bayzakova’s efforts to expand access in Kyrgyzstan

During our 2017 transition to Max Access Solutions, Dr. Bayzakova was a key physician in expanding access to cancer drugs for people in her region. Her partnership increased the number of available cancer treatments available to patients, many who are now on second- and third-line treatment.

“Dr. Bayzakova dedicated her life to her patients and through her efforts greatly improved the treatment of CML in her country.”

– Pat Garcia-Gonzalez, CEO, The Max Foundation

Today, Kyrgyzstan patients have access to treatment options for their cancer, giving hundreds the opportunity to continue living with dignity and hope. This achievement is due to Dr. Bayzakova’s immense dedication and hard work

Dr. Bayzakova was also a champion of diagnostic testing and monitoring for her patients as well. We collaborated with Dr. Bayzakova to purchase a GeneXpert machine for diagnosing rare cancers – the first for her hospital. Since then, Dr. Bayzakova worked with Max to conduct over 1,200 PCR tests for pediatric and adult CML patients.

Patients above all

Dr. Bayzakova understood the importance of patient organizations and was very supportive of the local efforts of the patient group leaders.  She was a true champion of patients, who always aimed to improve the treatment of CML in Kyrgyzstan. Dr. Bayzakova went so far as to advocate and fundraise for partner hematologists from the neighboring country of Tajikistan. Two specialists from Tajikistan learned under Dr. Bayzakova in order to build a similar in-house diagnostic and monitoring facilities.

Dr. Bayzakova, center in gray jacket, surrounded by cancer patients she supported.

The Max Foundation and all collaborators of Max express deep condolences to the family, relatives and friends of Damira Omurzakovna Bayzakova and share the bitterness of irreplaceable loss. In honor of the life and legacy of Dr. Bayzakova, the International CML Foundation posthumously awarded the 2021 iCMLf Prize to her.

Join us in celebrating Dr. Bayzakova’s life. Make a donation in her honor to continue supporting cancer patients in remote and underserved regions.