The Motor Neurone Disease Association has paid tribute to former Leeds stars Rob Burrow and Kevin Sinfield for having drawn so much attention to the nature of the disease over the last twelve months, since Burrow revealed to the world on 19 December last year that he had been diagnosed a week earlier with the condition.
From the outset Burrow was keen to draw public attention to the disease while working with the MND Association and Chris James, the Director of External Affairs for the charity, has spoken about the impact that Burrow’s generosity has had while encouraging people to carry on with charitable ventures to help the charity.
“I’m not sure, a year ago, any of us imagined quite what an impact Rob’s announcement of his MND diagnosis would have,” he said.
“As a result of Rob and (his wife) Lindsey, incredibly bravely, opening a door to their lives, so many more people now have an understanding of the reality of MND for the person with the disease and also those around them.
“As a Rugby League player Rob inspired team-mates and fans, and as a person with MND he has done the same. There have been some high-profile activities, and also thousands of people from the Rugby League family and far beyond who have taken on personal fundraising challenges, organised money spinning events with friends and neighbours, and some who have chosen to work with us on an ongoing basis as Association volunteers.
“All of them are now part of our MND community, working to support people with MND and to fund research to find treatments for the disease, and that’s all thanks to Rob.”
“Sadly, Rob and his family are one of thousands of families affected by this cruel disease. There are approximately 5000 people in the UK living with MND and we need to continue to be there for these people and their families and carers. Kevin Sinfield and his team were inspired by Rob Burrow and his family, who have bravely shared an insight into their experiences with MND.
“The awareness raised for MND throughout the recent 7 in 7 Challenge has been incredible and we have been inspired by the efforts of Kevin, his team and those who supported him. But the journey doesn’t stop here, the need is greater than ever and you can be part of the 7 in 7 legacy by creating and taking part in your very own 7 in 7 challenge for the MND Association. Sign up for your own 7 in 7 challenge now at https://www.mndassociation.org/get-involved/fundraising/fundraising-events/7in7/ and help us to continue our fight for a world free from MND. You can still give your support to the 7 in 7 Challenge at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sinfield-7-in-7.”
There was a special tribute to Rob Burrow and the awareness he has brought to MND as part of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year show on BBC One on Sunday night.
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