Anger as government reject Leeds Rhinos star Rob Burrow's campaign for MND research funding

The father of former Leeds Rhinos star Rob Burrow has reacted with anger after the Government's Budget failure to deliver MND funding.

Friday, 29th October 2021, 12:09 pm

Geoff Burrow, father of the former Rhinos star, was part of a recent campaign seeking for government funding to further research into Motor Neurone Disease.

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A coalition of MND organisations, researchers and campaigners submitted a funding bid to the Government last month ahead of Wednesday's Budget release requesting official funding into further research into the condition.

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Rob Burrow who has been left paralysed and unable to speak as a result of MND has never stopped campaigning for further research. Picture: Matthew Merrick Photography.

MND is a degenerative disease which affects nerves in the brain and spinal cord, and has left Rob, 39, who became a fan favourite during 16 years with the Rhinos, paralysed and forced to communicate with his family through an eye-driven communication device.

Campaigners were left feeling that their campaign had been successful having received backing from business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng only for Wednesday's Budget to omit the pledged £50m of support.

Rob's father Geoff tweeted his disgust at the news: "I am absolutely disgusted to hear that the Government Spending Review has decided NOT to support the Campaign to EndMND, and the requested £50 million over 5 years ! All the so called indicated “Support” for the extra funding comes to NOTHING !! PLEASE RECONSIDER AND HELP MY SON." he tweeted.

Research funding has been described as crucial with researchers believing that they are close to a breakthrough in finding a treatment.

Burrow became a fans favourite during 16 years with the Rhinos.

In a statement released following the announcement MND Association Chief Executive, Sally Light, said: "We are so disappointed on behalf of everyone in the MND community that the government hasn’t listened to our plea to invest £50million in targeted MND research. Our researchers are on the cusp of a breakthrough in discovering treatments for MND.

"But they need a meaningful injection of funding. We will continue to do what we can as a charity but we will also continue to fight for the investment that will give hope to the 5,000 people in the UK who are living with this brutal disease right now."

MND has been known to affect former sports men and women with former Heart of Midlothian football captain Marius Zaliukas losing his life to the disease in October 2020, aged just 36.

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