Ailing Bok’s birthday bash

By admin
01 March 2013

Smiles and special moments as Joost and his dad celebrate their birthdays

It’s the look in Joost van der Westhuizen’s piercing hazel eyes that strikes you first: it’s a sense of disillusionment mixed with inner peace and acceptance.

And tonight, at a combined birthday party for him and his dad, Gustav, the message is clear: I’m okay.

It’s a few days after the former Bok turned 42 on 20 February. Gustav is 66. For them it’s a week of celebrations: a precious time of milestones reached – because neither knows whether they’ll celebrate their birthdays together again.

The terminal motor neurone disease Joost was diagnosed with in 2011 has visibly weakened the once-athletic sportsman. You can see it in the way he walks and talks.

But tonight is partytime – and they’re going all-out to let their hair down.

Joost decided on an Academy Awards theme for the party, says Monique Human, trademark and marketing manager of Joost’s J9 Foundation and organiser of the do. “We decided everyone should dress up as a famous character from a film or as an actor,” she explains.

Family and friends have come from near and far and have gone to a great deal of trouble to dress up – characters such as Lady Gaga, Marilyn Monroe, Shrek and Fiona, Zorro, Lara Croft, The Arrow, Indiana Jones and Lady Diana are all here. But Joost is without a doubt the superstar of the evening.

Read more of Danél Blaauw’s article in YOU 7 March 2013.

Joost on birthdays and future

Joost van der Westhuizen celebrates life

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