The legacy of Rob Burrow can be kept alive through continued work on MND research and support

The tributes to Rob Burrow have rightly been pouring in after his death at the age of 41. Few heroes from the sporting arena will have connected with so many ordinary people like the Leeds Rhinos legend did.

The defiance and dignity with which he faced motor neurone disease (MND) will forever be etched in the minds of people across the city, region and indeed the world over.

His fight against this cruel disease and desire to make a difference for others suffering from it will inspire people everywhere.

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As his good friend and former teammate Kevin Sinfield described him, he was a “superhuman superman”.

Kevin Sinfield, Rob Burrow's former Leeds Rhino teammate, during a ground breaking ceremony at the new Rob Burrow Centre for Motor Neurone Disease in Leeds. PIC: Danny Lawson/PA WireKevin Sinfield, Rob Burrow's former Leeds Rhino teammate, during a ground breaking ceremony at the new Rob Burrow Centre for Motor Neurone Disease in Leeds. PIC: Danny Lawson/PA Wire
Kevin Sinfield, Rob Burrow's former Leeds Rhino teammate, during a ground breaking ceremony at the new Rob Burrow Centre for Motor Neurone Disease in Leeds. PIC: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

The groundbreaking ceremony for the Rob Burrow Centre for MND at Seacroft Hospital in Leeds was a poignant reminder of not just the legacy that Rob leaves behind but also the need to continue his work on MND.

There is currently no cure for this cruel disease but no stone must be left unturned until there is a breakthrough. And in order for scientists to continue to seek a cure, support for MND charities will be crucial.

In the meantime, those who are suffering need to be given the best care to reduce the impact the symptoms have on their lives.

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That is what Rob Burrow Centre for MND is about. Before his death, Rob Burrow spearheaded a £6.8m appeal for Leeds Hospitals Charity, where he received care, for the centre for those with MND living in and around the city. While the NHS staff who looked after Rob Burrow did an admirable job, the facilities are just not up to the required standard.

Paul Watkins, director of fundraising at Leeds Hospitals Charity, says they had raised £5.85m of the £6.8m required for the centre.

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