Prior to her career in healthcare and hospital administration in Boston, Sumaira worked as an actor/model in Hindi-/Bengali-language media, primarily in southeast Asia. Sumaira is a classically trained Kathak dancer and has performed in prestigious venues including Madison Square Garden, the Kodak Theatre, Santiniketan, and the Rudolf Steiner Theatre.
In the summer of 2014, Sumaira was diagnosed with seronegative neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) after experiencing sudden and severe vision loss and weakness/numbness. Less than two months after her diagnosis, she founded The Sumaira Foundation (TSF) dedicated to generating global awareness of NMOSD and MOGAD, building communities of support for patients and their caregivers, supporting research, and advocating on behalf of patients.
In 2015, Sumaira was crowned the 1st Miss Bangladesh-USA advocating for equal opportunity education for Bangladeshi children in efforts to increase tolerance and strengthen the country’s international presence, economy, and infrastructure.
In September 2021, Sumaira was honored with WEGO Health’s “Best Kept Secret” Award recognizing her advocacy work in rare disease.
In October 2021, Sumaira was featured in a Wall Street Journal article about Medicare’s drug-pricing debate.
In 2022, Sumaira was prominently featured in an Emmy Award-winning show, Medical Stories, on PBS. You can watch the full episode, NMO: Blindsided Within here: https://youtu.be/UoYri5CDftI
The Sumaira Foundation is recognized around the globe as one of the leading patient advocacy organizations focused on NMOSD & MOGAD with an international Medical Advisory Board, 60 patient & caregiver Ambassadors from 22 countries and active across 6 continents.