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Rob Burrow: Ex-Gloucester lock Ed Slater thanks ‘special’ MND campaigner

Slater – with support from his wife, Jo, with whom he has three children – began adapting his life soon after his diagnosis and recorded his voice, with MND known to affect speech.

He also has an eye gaze system that uses his voice, to enable him to communicate using eye movements, as Burrow did.

“It won’t be long before I have to use it regularly – that’s going to be essential,” Slater said.

“Being able to talk to the kids will be so important – if Frank wants to talk about Charlton [Athletic – the club Slater supports], or Edie about dance or Flo about playing in goal.

“The smallest things are the biggest things it will give me an opportunity to carry on.

“Those conversations are so important keeping me connected, albeit I won’t be physically – that will help.”

Slater said Burrow’s legacy in rugby and the profile he has put on MND will “continue with us”.

“The more we see how shocking life is with MND… knowing [there is] no treatment and no cure adds to that message as well because it’s so cruel,” he said.

“If we continue to do that with fantastic people and the amazing community with MND I hope we will make big steps in trying to find treatment and a cure.”

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