Joost off to America for help

January 27, 2014
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Joost

Former Springbok captain Joost van der Westhuizen on Sunday announced that he is heading to the US for clinical studies in connection with his diagnosis of a form of Motor Neuron Disease (MND).

“They said I would be in a wheelchair after a year. They said I had a 20% chance to live two years. And I decided ‘stuff them.’ I will decide when I go,” Van der Westhuizen said in a statement.

In 2011 Van der Westhuizen was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), an aggressive form of MND.

Van der Westhuizen will participate in clinical studies in Boston at the Massachusetts General Hospital, where the chief of neurology, Dr Merit Cudowicz, is currently conducting research into the disease.

The former rugby star – who established the J9 Foundation for other sufferers of the disease – will also visit the Eleanor and Lou Gehrig Centre in New York, which provides research and clinical support for MND/ALS sufferers.

Van der Westhuizen said he hoped to establish a similar institute in South Africa.

“In the beginning you go through all the emotions and you ask, ‘Why me?’ It’s quite simple, ‘Why not me?’ If I have to go through this to help future generations, why not me?” said Van der Westhuizen.

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2 Comments

  1. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    January 27th, 2014 at 10:39 am

    Great attitude from the man, really sad to see him like this but he is doing so much now for future suffers, Gaan groot Joost!!

  2. avatar Aldo says:
    January 27th, 2014 at 10:51 am

    Agreed Jacques. Sad to see any sportsstar go through this, well anyone actually, but we see these guys as superhuman.

    Good to see him fighting. He was allways n fighter and Im sure long after he is gone, we will still be seeing the results of all his hard work regarding MND

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