In an exclusive interview and photoshoot at home with his family in HELLO! magazine, Rob Burrow has spoken about his battle with Motor Neurone Disease - and how he hopes to meet the Queen.
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"From the moment I was diagnosed, I decided I was going to tackle this disease head-on and that’s what I am doing," the former Leeds Rhinos and England scrum-half, says.
"I love my family too much to give up and I will keep fighting until my last breath."
Rob Burrow opened up to HELLO! about his brave health battle
"My day to day life has changed massively," says Rob, who is dad to Macy, nine, Maya, five, and two-year-old Jackson with wife Lindsey.
He communicates by texting his words into a special voice-saving app. "The most frustrating thing is not being able to communicate. It is like being suffocated as you try and say something but you don’t have the voice to do so, so the voice app has been a Godsend to me. It speaks in my voice and reminds me of what I used to sound like and it’s nice for the kids to hear my voice."
"The kids have been brilliant; they’re so loving and caring and attentive to Rob and they have accepted things and just get on with life," says Lindsey, 38, a physiotherapist.
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"Rob has been the one saying, 'pull yourself together, we will get through it.' He is so positive that it rubs off on everyone else and he keeps us going as much as we keep him going.
"As much as he knows he's fighting a battle he’s probably not going to win, he will give it his all."
The star is a doting dad to three children
"Lindsey is such an amazing wife and mum," Rob, who was diagnosed with MND in December 2019, adds. "It's hard for me seeing her do everything and not been able to help her. I love her so much."
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Rob also told the magazine how he felt when he was recently awarded an MBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours for services to rugby and MND awareness.
"It’s a huge privilege and honour to get this award and it really took me by surprise," says Rob.
"I feel very humbled and hope I might get a chance to meet the Queen. I feel like this honour is also for the Leeds Rhinos and the MND community, which I am now a part of."
To make a donation to Rob’s Fightback Fund go to https://www.mndassociation.org/forrob
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