Rugby League legend Rob Burrow, 40, was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in December 2019 and can no longer walk or talk. He has to communicate through a keyboard controlled by his eyes.

The hardest thing to cope with is being unable to look after my three children on my own. My wife Lindsey is incredible; she was my teenage sweetheart.

I played over 500 times for the Leeds Rhinos over a 16-year period. Rugby and my family are my life. My rugby shirt number was the number 7. The "7 Stories of MND" photography exhibition helps to showcase the enormous and devastating impact of MND. 

More needs to be done to help people with MND, in terms of research and holistic support. 

That is why I am proud to put my name to the Leeds Hospitals Charity appeal for the new Rob Burrow Centre for MND.

The new centre will be built at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. We have almost raised half the money needed so far. Working on the vision for the centre with Dr Agam Jung, consultant neurologist and clinical lead for the MND service, has been a great focus for me.

I want to thank all those people that go to such efforts - whether it's having a cake stall, doing a raffle, or running 101 miles. Whatever it may be, we're just so incredibly grateful. It's making a difference to the MND community.

The new centre will have a lasting legacy for people diagnosed today, and in years to come.

It will be a haven for patients and their families - a peaceful environment with the best possible care, helping them to live in the now. I am still defying the odds, with a smile on my face. I won’t give up until my last breath. 

I have too many reasons to live.

Read more: Rob and Lindsey Burrow's Story of MND


Photo credit: Lorne Campbell, Guzelian Media 

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