Joost undergoes experimental treatment

2011-08-25 07:11

Former Springbok rugby player Joost van der Westhuizen is reported to have undergone experimental stem-cell treatment for a fatal motor neuron disease (MND).

Van der Westhuizen’s neurologist Dr Jody Pearl told The Star that the treatment was safe, but there was no guarantee it would have any real benefit.

“We don’t know if we’ll be able to help with the MND ... (but) therapy is the most promising treatment we have to date in any kind of degenerative condition,” she said.

“But I think we need to be cautiously optimistic.”

Van der Westhuizen (40) said he would continue to fight the disease, for which there is no known cure.

“I’ve been a fighter all my life,” Van der Westhuizen told The Times daily.

“I’m going to fight this thing mentally and to the best of my ability. Don’t worry, I’m not going to die on you too soon. I’m going to fight it.”

Van der Westhuizen reportedly became the first South African to undergo the treatment, developed by UK neuro-scientist Dr Steve Ray, two weeks ago.

Doctors injected some of his stem cells back into his body, with the hope that the cells would repair damaged muscle tissue.

Van der Westhuizen, who first realised there was something wrong with his right arm late last year, was diagnosed in July.

He played in South Africa’s victorious 1995 Rugby World Cup team and at one stage held the record as the most capped Springbok player.
 

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.