Rob Burrow: Leeds Rhinos legend 'positive' after meeting with MND specialist

Rob Burrow
Rob Burrow won eight Grand Finals, three World Club Challenges and two Challenge Cups with Leeds Rhinos

Leeds Rhinos legend Rob Burrow says he has been boosted by his meeting with a motor neurone disease specialist.

The 37-year-old was diagnosed with MND last month.

MND is a degenerative condition that affects how nerves in the brain and spinal cord function. There is no cure.

"In the circumstances, I got some great news. Most people who get the condition are in their 60s but because I'm young I should live longer than expected," he told BBC Radio Leeds.

"The tests which I had were borderline MND, which confirmed I did have it but am in the early stages. For a test to be borderline is good.

"Most people get diagnosed within a year, whereas I was diagnosed within three weeks, which is testament to the club. I have had the best treatment from the start.

"I feel good and I am really positive."

Burrow won eight Grand Finals, three World Club Challenges and two Challenge Cups in 17 years with the Super League side before retiring in 2017.

A crowdfunding page set up for the former England international has so far raised more than £250,000, while fellow sportsmen, including England wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow and former Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney, have also offered Burrow their help.

Burrow said the response he has had from people has been "unbelievable".

"I'm trying to find new words, other than overwhelmed, humble and overawed. I'm over the moon," he said.

"From the people who have donated loads of money, unbelievable, to the guy in the street who has shaken my hand. Everyone of them is of equal importance to me.

"Whether you are a Wigan, Warrington, Leeds or Castleford fan, everyone has been behind me and people from other sports too. You can't ask for more than that.

"I'm the same as anyone else. You want to know that your family is looked after and financially secure. The amount of money that has been raised is off the charts and it's nice to know that my family will be able to live their life without me."

'Can't thank people enough'

Danny McGuire and Rob Burrow
Danny McGuire (left) is one of a number of Rhinos legends who have committed to playing in Sunday's testimonial which is a joint-fundraiser for Jamie Jones-Buchanan and Rob Burrow

He is set to play in long-time team-mate Jamie Jones-Buchanan's testimonial against Bradford Bulls at Headingley on Sunday, when funds from the game will be split between the two.

Fellow retired Rhinos legends Danny McGuire, Kevin Sinfield, Jamie Peacock and Kylie Leuluai have also committed to playing in the game.

"The amount of people who have put their hand up to play in the game is ridiculous and I'm really grateful for that," said Burrow.

"Jamie Peacock is on a skiing holiday and he's coming back early to play in the game. What can you say to that? I only hope that people know that I would do it for them. You can't thank people enough.

"It's Jonesy's testimonial and it's the mark of the guy that he was happy to share it with me. It's not all about me. It's about celebrating his 20 years with the club."

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