Rob Burrow’s sisters Joanne Hartshorne and Claire Burnett created the idea of the star-studded Burrow Strictly Ball to raise money towards building the bespoke centre for MND. Celebrities danced the night away at the event, which took place at Headingley Stadium on Saturday March 19.
Joanne said: “To see the smile on Rob’s face was brilliant. It was such a special and fun night.
“Everyone who took part were such good sports and so dedicated to raising as much money as possible for the Leeds Hospitals Charity to build a new Rob Burrow Centre for MND.
“Everyone knows how important this centre is to Rob to help others, and their loved ones, facing this devastating diagnosis and disease.”
Rob was diagnosed with MND in 2019, and since then his family has worked tirelessly to help raise awareness and funds for the Leeds Hospitals Charity’s appeal.
BBC Breakfast presenter Dan Walker and his Strictly partner, Nadiya Bychkova, were judges on the night and performed a special showstopping dance.
They were joined by fellow Strictly contestant and Emmerdale star, Kelvin Fletcher, and comedian Jon Richardson.
Charles Hanson from BBC’s Bargain Hunt hosted a live auction on the night. The event is expected to raise £100,000.
Comperes for the evening included BBC Look North’s Tanya Arnold and Danika Priim, who plays for the ladies Leeds Rhinos team.
Dancers included football coach and former player Brian Deane, Leeds Rhinos Legend Barrie McDermott, and Leeds Hospitals Charity’s ambassador, Dr Amir Khan.
Over 400 tickets were sold for the event, including to major businesses.
Since The Rob Burrow Centre for Motor Neurone Disease appeal launched in September 2021, £1.87 million has been raised, thanks to support from the people of Leeds, the UK and beyond.
The bespoke centre will see all MND services housed under one roof for the first time.
Patients will have access to a range of holistic support tailored to their needs, from speech and language therapy, to diet and nutrition advice, and physiotherapy.
Leeds Hospitals Charity is the charity of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.
It supports Leeds General Infirmary, Leeds Children’s Hospital, Leeds Cancer Centre, St James’s University Hospital, Chapel Allerton Hospital, Seacroft Hospital, Wharfedale Hospital and Leeds Dental Institute.
Dr Khan said: “Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is one of the biggest hospitals in the UK. Leeds Hospitals Charity raises crucial funds to support research, equipment and buildings to support NHS staff to deliver the best care for over a million patients and their families each year, so being ambassador is a role I am very proud of.
“The new Rob Burrow Centre for MND will make a huge difference to patients’ lives, their families and loved ones.”
Find out more and donate to The Rob Burrow Centre for Motor Neurone Disease Appeal through Leeds Hospitals Charity’s website https://www.leedshospitalscharity.org.uk/mnd