The Old Matron’s House, a former nurses’ house at Seacroft Hospital, Leeds, is being demolished to make way for the specialist facility.
Leeds Hospitals Charity has raised funds for the specialist center named after the former Leeds Rhinos player who was diagnosed with the disease aged 37. It would be the first of its kind in Europe.
Leeds Hospitals Charity chief executive Esther Wakeman said £5million needed to be raised before construction could begin. The grand total is currently over £3million.
The fundraiser received a huge boost last week when Burrow’s former teammate Kevin Sinfield raised more than £2million B. by running seven ultramarathons in seven days. But Ms Wakeman said more funds were needed.
She said: “We are extremely grateful to everyone who supported Kevin Sinfield in his Ultra challenge last week and we are now closer to our fundraising goal. It’s an incredible effort. However, we still have a long way to go.
“If anyone has been inspired by Kevin’s recent efforts, there is still time to run the Rob Burrow Leeds marathon or half marathon next May and raise funds directly for the center.”
MND is a degenerative and life-shortening brain disorder that reduces the sufferer’s ability to control and move their body. There is currently no cure.
Burrow was diagnosed in 2019.
He is now confined to a wheelchair, can only communicate via an eye-controlled communication device, and is cared for 24 hours a day by his wife, Lindsey.
He has continued to campaign, along with Sinfield, to raise awareness of the disease, and continues to do so Management of the fundraiser for the MND center.
He said: “I think it’s great that we’re starting to punch a hole in the ground, I think there’s a lot to do, more funding is needed to make sure it’s what it should be and is a representation of Rob and the love and care he seeks to provide in this building.”
The bespoke center offers patients access to a range of support services tailored to their needs, from speech and language therapy to diet and nutrition counseling and physical therapy.
Around 80 people are currently being treated for the disease in Leeds.