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.

Since 1974, the Muscular Dystrophy Foundation has always endeavoured to help all people affected with MD.

Harry Newton Walker was a well-known resident of Potchefstroom and a former Springbok rugby player. He passed away on 6 August 2008.