Motor Neurone Disease (MND) is a condition that affects the brain and the nerves, this means that people with MND may face difficulties with moving, swallowing and talking. Sadly, there is no cure for Motor Neurone Disease and the condition causes weakness as it gets worse over time. However, there are treatments to help how it impacts a person’s life; treatments include breathing support, which allows a person to receive extra air through a portable machine to support their breathing. Sufferers can also use speech and communication support so that they can be given aid such as voice banking. This allows people to record a number of phrases, which can then be used to create a synthetic voice and also gives them a means of vocalising a sentence when they are unable to themselves.
There has been a number of famous people with MND such as Doddy Weir, a Scottish rugby union player, Stephen Hawking and Rob Burrow – a rugby league player. This condition is heartbreaking as it is not known why people contract the disease but it affects their everyday life and is something they cannot recover from.
Rob Burrow was a rugby league great, who played scrum-half for Leeds Rhinos; he sadly was diagnosed with MND in December 2019 and since then, the whole Rugby League community offered support and their condolences as it was so sad that such a great of the game was subject to a cruel disease. Rob Burrow spent his whole playing career with Leeds Rhinos, he made his first team debut in 2001 and his last game was in 2017. Throughout his playing career, he won eight Super League Championships and two Challenge Cups. He was truly an amazing player due to being so quick on his feet and he wracked up a whopping 198 tries in 494 appearances.
Very recently, you may have seen in the news, Kevin Sinfield (Burrows’ friend and captain) wanted to fundraise to help Rob and other MND sufferers, to give them treatment and also to eventually try and find a cure for MND. Sinfield was another legend who also played for Leeds Rhinos, he has the highest all-time leading points scorer at Leeds and has made 521 appearances for the club. Sinfield set out to run 7 marathons in 7 days from the first of December to raise £77,777. This is an incredible achievement as not only did he complete 7 marathons in 7 days but he also completed them quickly with him beating the global average marathon times on each occasion. His times only varied for, 3hrs 35 minutes to 3hrs 48 minutes, this is very impressive as it is difficult to complete marathons quickly and consistently when your body is aching and sore. Sinfield completely smashed his target of £7,777 and has currently raised over £2.5 million for MND sufferers, this is a fantastic achievement to complete, and the money raised will go to Rwanda treatment and finding a cure for MND.