Joost van der Westhuizen opens up

By admin
16 February 2012

He lost his family and his job and now he’s losing his life – Joost van der Westhuizen tells YOU’s Hannelie Booyens about his failed marriage, his devastating illness and his many regrets.

Today Joost’s handshake is considerably less firm and he looks a lot older than his 41 years. His hands are becoming knobbly, a telling sign of the degeneration of the motor neurone disease he was diagnosed with on 3 May last year.

“It’s a day I’ll never forget,” he says with a forced smile. He hobbles across to the dining room table; the muscular frame that once made him a formidable rugby player now lets him down on a daily basis.

“Everything I do takes twice as long as it used to,” he says apologetically as he sits down with difficulty.

It’s only when people are prepared to support you day and night that you learn who your true friends are, Joost says. And when you’re staring death in the face you realise it’s necessary to take stock, he adds.

Read more in YOU 23 February 2012.

Watch the exclusive interview with Joost by sister magazine Huisgenoot:

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