Joost flies to US for clinical studies

2014-01-26 14:32
Joost van der Westhuizen

Joost van der Westhuizen (J9 Foundation)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Pretoria - 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 Joost 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.

Join the conversation! 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.
Read more on:    joost van der westhuizen 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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

LIVE: Canada v Romania
Heyneke: Still some loose ends
LIVE: Fiji v Uruguay
Does De Kock's fate await Paige?
Traffic Alerts

Are you burning the candle at both ends? Listen to your body and your emotional reactions. Know when to slow down or stop. It is more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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 network.


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.