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Callie Cook Endowment for Kidney Disease Research

Posted August 05, 2014

Callie Cook
Celebrating Callie's one year anniversary since her initial hospitilization.
Callie Cook
Callie Cook

In 2012, Stacey and John Cook’s ‘05 beloved Black Labrador Retriever, Callie, was diagnosed with kidney disease. With treatment, Callie lived a little over a year. Watching her health decline, and ultimately losing her to kidney disease was devastating to the Cooks. In order to deal with her passing, Stacey was compelled to find a way to contribute to the discovery of a cure for widespread chronic renal disease.

After meeting the renal disease research team at Texas A&M’s College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Stacey and John Cook, along with Stacey’s parents, Bob and Janis Frank, funded the Callie Cook Endowment for Kidney Disease Research.  Dr. George Lees, professor of veterinary internal medicine at Texas A&M University’s College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, through his project to eradicate hereditary nephropathy in English Cocker Spaniels, realized there was a great need for a renal pathology center in veterinary medicine.  In March 2005, with the support of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association, Dr. Lees launched the world’s first veterinary diagnostic renal pathology center.

Dr. Lees, and his lead faculty member, Dr. Mary Nabity, equipped with diagnostic data and samples from around the world, continue to work on identifying the biomarkers which will lead to early diagnosis of chronic kidney disease.  Early detection allows the disease to be treated at stages when it is most beneficial, which may slow, or even halt, progression of the disease to end-stage renal failure.

The Callie Cook Endowment for Kidney Disease Research ensures this critical research continues so our canine family members are diagnosed early, treated most effectively and ultimately, help us learn more in our efforts to eliminate chronic kidney disease in not only dogs, but humans forever.  Your gift not only furthers these efforts, but honors Callie’s courageous fight against this illness.

Statistics on chronic kidney disease (CKD)

Download a detailed discussion on chronic kidney disease

  • 40-80% have histologic renal lesions
  • 20-60% have microalbuminuria (which indicates some degree of kidney dysfunction, although most will probably not progress to failure)
  • <10-20% have progressive CKD
  • <3-5% death due to CKD


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