Man to scale seven mountains in honour of Rob Burrow

Ian Flatt
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Ian Flatt is taking on his biggest challenge yet, scaling seven mountains in three weeks

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A man from North Yorkshire, who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease five years ago, plans to scale seven mountains in three weeks in honour of the late Rob Burrow.

Ian Flatt, 58, from the village of Green Hammerton, will begin his challenge on Whernside, the highest of Yorkshire's famous Three Peaks, on Saturday.

Mr Flatt, who uses a wheelchair, will be joined along the way by 70 friends and family as he embarks on the seven-peak challenge across England, Wales and Scotland.

He admits the task will be “difficult”, but is determined to raise money for the Leeds Hospitals Charity Rob Burrow MND Centre.

Mr Flatt said: “I think Saturday is going to be an incredibly emotional day for all of us.

“But it’s all for a great cause. Rob was 100% behind the centre, and so were his family.

“It’s so important for the MND community to have a place where we can be cared for, where our families can feel that we’re all being cared for - that we’re getting the right facilities, the right environment - it’s absolutely crucial.”

Mr Flatt described how he was diagnosed with the disease in 2019, just months before the Leeds Rhinos rugby star and fellow MND campaigner.

Image source, PA
Image caption,

Rob Burrow died, at the age of 41, on 2 June

Mr Burrow's diagnosis came two years after he retired from a 17-year career in Rugby League which saw him achieve eight Super League Grand Final wins, three World Club Challenges and two Challenge Cups.

He died at the age of 41 on 2 June.

“Rob helped me so much - and not just me, but beyond the MND community as well. Everything he did was just beautiful,” said Mr Flatt.

Mr Flatt, who is married to Rachael and has two daughters, Isea and Charley, said he wants to keep Mr Burrow’s legacy going and show that people with the disease can still live a full life.

Image caption,

Ian Flatt scaled Mount Snowdon with the help of family and friends

He has previously scaled Snowdon, in Wales, in 2022, as well as completing a 100-mile trek last year, and two marathons.

So far, he has raised £9,095 for the Leeds Hospital Charity.

The seven-mountain challenge begins with Whernside on Saturday, and continues with Wild Boar Fell, in the Yorkshire Dales, on 18 June, Snowdon on 21 June, Pen-y-Fan, in Wales, on 25 June, Ben Chonzie, in Scotland, on 29 June, Skiddaw, in the Lake District, on 3 July, and culminates with the Yorkshire Matterhorn on 7 July.

What is MND?

Motor neurone disease (MND) most typically affects people over 50 - but adults of any age can be affected.

The disease affects cells in the brain and spinal cord (motor neurones) that allow us to move, speak, swallow and breathe by sending commands from the brain to the muscles that carry out these functions

These cells gradually stop working over time.

There is no cure for MND, but there are treatments to help reduce the impact it has on a person's daily life, and some people live with the condition for many years.