Project DM and Bubba’s Buddies Launch a New DM Trial

Project DM is launching a groundbreaking new degenerative myelopathy to better understand the disease progression of DM and establish a definitive way to diagnose this terrible disease.

Read on to learn more about the trial and what inspired, Molli Cook to create Bubba’s Buddies.

The Inspiration Behind Bubba’s Buddies

Bubba’s mom, Molli Cook discusses her dog Bubba and how Bubba’s Buddies is working to fight DM.

Meet Bubba

Bubba Cook is an 11-year-old boxer who is fighting against DM and putting up one heck of a fight! Bubba grew up in Iowa but is now retired from his career as a shop dog and is living in Florida with his mom and dad (Doug and Molli).  His dad is a race car lover and in 2015 made his hobby of racing cars into a career.  For Bubba, this meant he could travel the world with his dad going to races and hanging in the shop while his dad made race car parts.  Bubba loves going to new places, chasing rabbits and chickens, and stealing bed space from his parents. 

Bubba’s DM Diagnosis

In 2020, just 6 months before Bubba’s 10th birthday, he was diagnosed with Degenerative Myelopathy. As we learned, this disease attacks and kills the nerves of many breeds of dogs.  Dogs with DM lose function of their rear legs completely and the disease begins shutting down important organs and other functions needed for day to day. It was clear from day one of this disease that he just simply was going to keep going and not let this disease run his life. Every day he works and keeps pushing forward so that he can keep up with his sister Teddie and brother Meatloaf.

One of the most frustrating parts of DM is that there is no known treatment or cure.  Bubba’s caring, nurturing, and never quit attitude made his parents think, that if we take the same approach towards finding a cure for DM and helping other families, we can overcome this and work through it. In many ways we think Bubba was put on this planet to inspire us and to help others, his story will live on, and with enough luck and determination, we can conquer this mountain in his honor. This led to the start of Bubba’s Buddies in July of 2021 with the mission to support research that will give future DM dogs and parents hope.  

Project DM

In December 2021, Bubba’s parents connected with the four universities to form Project DM. Together, Bubba’s Buddies and Project DM will ask how they can help move DM research forward.  The Project DM group said they had a research project lined up before Covid-19 that was promising, but the pandemic and funding cuts delayed any progress.  The team decided this was a great opportunity to start to make an impact through Bubba’s Buddies and took on the role to raise funds that can launch the next DM clinical trial!

Understanding the Trial

Bubba’s Buddies has partnered with four universities to start the next Degenerative Myelopathy clinical research study including:

As the first Degenerative Myelopathy trial in the world, Project DM will work to better understand the disease. Before being accepted into the trial, each dog will undergo a health screening. This includes an MRI to ensure the diagnosis prior to joining the trial. Bubba’s Buddies is hoping to raise $100K in 2022, to help cover the cost of these screenings.

The goals of the trial include studying new DM treatments and finding a cure for Degenerative Myelopathy.

To learn more about the trial, please visit: https://www.bubbasbuddies.org/pages/finding-a-cure

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