December 2019 was a sad time for rugby league as one of the sport’s greatest ever players and an even better character was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease.
Rob Burrow had only retired in 2017 as an eight-time Super League Champion and a two-time Harry Sunderland Award winner. He was coaching in the Rhinos academy but was sadly diagnosed with the awful disease just before Christmas 2019.
Since then, the whole rugby league community have banded around the Leeds legend starting with an amazing testimonial against Bradford and leading to his former captain and friend Kevin Sinfield running seven marathons in seven days for him as well as 101 miles in one day to raise money and awareness.
Millions have been raised by the rugby league community to help combat the disease and now we have seen a very real positive change sparked by the increase in funds and awareness with Leeds Rhinos tweeting a Sky News piece last night which reveals a very affective treatment for MND.
The Rhinos said: “To everyone who has helped raise money and awareness for MND research since Rob’s diagnosis, this is why we do it, we will find a cure, every penny counts, thank you, keep it going.”
To everyone who has helped raise money and awareness for MND research since Rob’s diagnosis, this is why we do it, we will find a cure, every penny counts, thank you, keep it going #united2endMND https://t.co/QwI42CLc75
— Leeds Rhinos (@leedsrhinos) September 21, 2022
The piece by Sky is an enlightening one revealing that the drug tofersen can help patients with mobility.
“Patients having monthly injections of the drug tofersen reported better mobility and lung function after a year of treatment – with one who was in a wheelchair at the start of the trial now able to walk without sticks,” Sky News said.
Meanwhile Professor Dame Pamela Shaw, Professor of Neurology at the University of Sheffield, who led the UK part of the study, said: “Never before have I heard patients say: ‘I am doing things today that I couldn’t do a few months ago – walking in the house without my sticks, walking up the garden steps, writing Christmas cards.'”
The drug is also said to improve lung function in patients as well.
It’s fantastic news for the MND community and for Burrow himself who will be hoping for more fantastic news this weekend as his beloved Rhinos take on St Helens in the Super League Grand Final.
Great news !