Conquering the Grand Canyon for DCM Awareness

This May marks a special occasion for us at as we celebrate our unofficial Myelopathy Awareness Month, dedicated to spreading the word about our mission and impact.

Throughout this month, we invite you to join us in raising awareness. Every action, no matter how small, contributes to making a difference. Whether it’s sharing a story, volunteering time, or making a donation, your support helps us continue our vital efforts.

In honour of Myelopathy Awareness Month, we’re thrilled to share an inspiring story. Meet Dr Rory Murphy, a Ambassador running the Grand Canyon to raise funds for our cause. Join us in supporting his incredible journey and the impact it will have on our mission!

Let’s make this Myelopathy Awareness Month unforgettable and impactful. Join us in creating a brighter future for our community and beyond.

Thank you for being part of our journey!


In early May, Dr Rory Murphy, a neurosurgeon from the Barrow Neurological Institute, USA, takes on a monumental challenge: running the Grand Canyon.

His motivation? To raise awareness and funds for Degenerative Cervical Myelopathy (DCM) the most common form of spinal cord injury.

What better metaphor could we have for the obstacles in DCM than the Grand Canyon?

  • Two sides, disconnected
  • A harsh, unforgiving landscape
  • Surmountable with a strategy and persistent dedication

We have now defined DCM’s greatest challenges to education/support and research.

  • Education: DCM is poorly recognised amongst the public, policymakers, and healthcare professionals. How can you ensure timely diagnosis and treatment, or explain your condition to another?
  • Research: How do we accelerate diagnosis? Should surgery be offered to those with early DCM? How do we enhance recovery after surgery?

But to be honest, underneath this, the greatest challenge of all is to raise investment. 

As a community we are working to the best of our capacity, but the bottom line is we are a small group, under-resourced and tackling a monster. Our enthusiasm has taken us far; it continues to make inroads.

But to really kick forward, our field now needs significant financial investment. Investment to drive educational campaigns, to fund research studies, and to offer those affected the support they need and deserve.

Since 1995, DCM has attracted ~£50m of research investment globally, less than 2% of conditions such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury! These conditions offer powerful lessons, not just because they involve the spinal cord with devastating consequences, but because their fields have been transformed by philanthropic donations, both in research and education. Think of Superman (Christopher Reeve Foundation), Motorcross Champion Heinz Kinigadner (Wings for Life) or Rugby Legend Doddie Weir (My Name’5 Doddie Foundation). Thousands of research studies, millions of people helped.

Enter Rory—when you have been diagnosed with myelopathy it can be confusing and people can be lost for direction. acts as a beacon of hope empowering people who are newly diagnosed. 

Rory’s patients have been helped immensely by and that’s why he’s raising money for the organisation.

DCM needs more champions like Rory.

While we can’t all run the Grand Canyon, we can all contribute.

Support Rory’s Challenge

Or visit – the global non-profit dedicated to DCM – to see how you can donate, fundraise, educate or research, and make a difference today.