A short seven minute film, featuring the highlights of Richard Burns' competition career, as well as the intimate details of his courageous fight against an aggressive form of brain cancer in the twilight of his life, has been released by the 'Paint It Orange' campain.
The film is intended to give context to the campaign as motorsport remembers ten years since Burns' 2001 World Rally Championship title and the ongoing work of the Richard Burns Foundation as it endeavours to improve the circumstances of others facing neurological injury and illness.
"Naturally, we'd all rather remember Richard as an athlete and a fit and healthy young man, but the brutal reality of his illness was that it had a devastating effect upon Richard - both mentally of course, and physically," Zoe Scott, the driver's former girlfriend and carer during his illness, said, "Six years down the line, those that were close to Richard - his friends and family - have taken the brave decision that Richard's suffering can be harnessed positively to show how damaging and debilitating brain cancer can be - and hopefully this will inspire the support that the Richard Burns Foundation needs and deserves as it tries to help others in Richard's memory."
The film release is part of the 'Paint It Orange' campaign, in which no less than 30 stars of international motorsport from Sebastian Vettel to Sebastian Loeb have pledged their support. They have been photographed in a commemorative orange t-shirt which remembers the tenth anniversary of Burns' career triumph on the 2001 Network Q Rally to inspire members of the public to buy the shirt and, in the process, make a invaluable charitable contribution.
To view the film, click here
The assembled mass of stars proudly wearing their commemorative Richard Burns shirts can be seen on the Richard Burns Foundation website and its Facebook pages. The charity is promoting the sale of the commemorative t-shirts at Grandstand Merchandise and you too can rub shoulders with the stars by buying a shirt and posting your photo alongside the charity's growing number of celebrity supporters.
As the official charity of Wales Rally GB, a select number of t-shirts signed and endorsed by WRC and F1 drivers - along with other money can't buy auction lots - will be released for auction on Saturday night of the Wales Rally GB at a specially convened auction hosted by Sky Television's Jon Desborough at the Rallyfest event in Cardiff.
All funds raised from the 'Paint It Orange' campaign will help to address the startling lack of neurological provision in the UK. Neurological injury and illness is a bigger cause of serious disability in the UK than cancer, heart disease and diabetes put together. Over a million people - half of these children and young adults - suffer a head injury every year. Alongside neuro injury, neurological illness has an incredible diversity of manifestations, from foetal diseases such as Spina Bifida, through to conditions that afflict the young, such as Cerebral Palsy & Meningitis; the unrelenting assault from neuro conditions continues through adult life, with brain tumours about 30 per cent as common as breast cancer. And neuro illness follows us into old age, with the widespread incidence of conditions ranging from Parkinson's to dementia and Alzheimer's.
The ambition of the Richard Burns Foundation is to fund the first hospital-based 'Brain Centre', where members of public can access walk-in support and advice to provide guidance for the array of neurological conditions from MS, Motor Neurone Disease & Schizophrenia to Autism and stroke, to name but a few. The Richard Burns Foundation is committed to supporting the Brain & Spine Foundation to spread the Brain Centre project nationally.