History of the Foundation
The Muscular Dystrophy Research Foundation of South Africa (MDRF) was founded in 1974 by Mr and Mrs Newton Walker of Potchefstroom who, at the time, had a son affected with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. They, together with Wally Gough, Chairman of the Rotary Club of Potchefstroom and representatives of Cripple Care Association formed the Foundation. They felt there was a need to reach out to other parents and families in a similar situation and also to support research into this disease with the ultimate goal of finding a cure.
The role of the Foundation
We support affected people and their families by offering emotional support and genetic counselling. We also support research projects undertaken in South Africa. Creating public awareness is an important aspect of the Foundations work. Through its newsletters members are kept informed of all activities and receive research updates, nationally and internationally.
What is Muscular Dystrophy?
Muscular Dystrophies are a group of genetic conditions that are characterized by progressive muscle weakness and wasting of the muscles. There are more than 70 neuromuscular disorders, and in South Africa affects 1:1200 people.
Is There Treatment available?
Sadly there is still no definite cure, however physiotherapy is very important as well as a balanced diet and exercise programmes can assist in living a better life. Orthopaedic devices can alleviate some of the discomfort experienced. In severe medication and surgery may help. There are currently many research projects in South Africa and world wide that are working on a cure for this disease. Never give up HOPE!