News24

Joost: I'll fight to the end

2011-05-22 15:45

Gavin Prins - Rapport

Johannesburg - "I'm fighting this illness with my faith. And my faith is strong."

Those were the words of former Springbok hero, Joost van der Westhuizen.

He talked exclusively for the first time about the "death sentence", which doctors informed him about four weeks ago.

The former rugby hero has been provisionally diagnosed with motor neuron disease.

He still cannot believe it, says Joost.

The doctor who examined him, have given him three years to live.

The moment he heard the news, it felt as if his whole life came tumbling down, says Joost.

"The stress that I have endured over the last two years is nothing compared to this," says the man who went through personal hell for almost the whole of 2009.

Joost is only a shadow of the fit, muscular and self-assured sportsman of just a couple of months ago.

He struggles to talk about his illness without bursting into tears.

During the interview, he excused himself and went to cry in the kitchen.

His two children are his biggest worry.

"The first thing I did was to check if my policies are in order for my kids," says Joost.

He is hoping that a visit to a second neurologist will bring better news.

Shortly before his interview with Rapport, he cut himself with his razor because his hands are shaking too much.

The thought that he actually could die has not really sunk in yet.

"The wind has been knocked out of my sails. I stared at the doctor in disbelief."

He struggles to utter the word "death". All he could say was that "I might only have three years left…"

Van der Westhuizen says he started to realise something was wrong in December last year.

"I struggled to move my hand, but I just left it. It's typical; I thought it was an old sports injury.

"But, as time passed my speech became impaired. When I spoke to people, they would say: 'Joost, are you drunk?'

"Later on, when I took the kids to Sun City for three days, it happened again. The kids and I and old Kellies (his doctor and friend, Dr Henry Kelbrick) played in the pool with a ball.

"Then Kellies and I started to wrestle. That's when he realised there's something wrong with my arm.

"The next day we started to talk.

 I asked him: 'Can you hear that my speech is becoming more and more impaired?'

"He immediately sent me to a neurologist and then they took X-rays.

"The next day, when he (Kelbrick) gave me the results, it was the first time I ever saw him being emotional.

He said: "Joost, what else could happen to you now?'

"After he told me I have motor neuron disease, he said that doctors didn't know how to treat it.

Joost says there was a moment of silence.

"I became a blank. I hardly remember anything from that day."

When asked about motor neuron disease, Joost says: "It's a disease they don't know much of. My condition has not been caused by stress and definitely not due to a hectic social life. It's my nervous system disintegrating.

He has since visited Dr Jody Pearl - a neurologist from Johannesburg - to get a second opinion. She has discharged him from hospital, but is still waiting for a final diagnosis.

However, Joost says he is very hopeful:  "My faith carries me. I get unbelievable support from my parents (Mariaan and Gustav van der Westhuizen) and my two brothers (Pieter and Gustav Jr).

"My parents are really taking it very badly.

"But, I will fight this thing. Even if it's the last thing I do."

Rapport

Comments
  • Billy - 2011-05-22 16:14

    Good luck Boet.

      paulf - 2011-05-23 08:10

      All the very best Joost, we have you in our thoughts and prayers. If you contact me I am able to help you with Stem Cell Technology. This is the only cure available.

      blondetopaz - 2011-05-23 08:34

      @ PaulF. Please contact me as my mom has motor neuron disease. She has seen more than 5 specialists and proffessors and they all tell her there is no cure. You can inbox me on facebook, or contact me on 0845577724. She has had it for 4 yrs now, and it has moved from her legs upto her arms now. Many thanks.

      Lauren - 2011-05-23 11:25

      @Paulf & blondetopaz: i don't know much about this disease, but i do know about an AMAZING neurosurgeon called Dr Roger Melvill. He is based in Cape Town at Constantiaberg Medi-Clinic. My husband had a so-called "inoperable" brain tumor and Dr Melvill was the only one who every other neurosurgeon & neurologist recommended. Best one in South Africa imo. He is also doing deep brain stimulation research, so might be a good thing to speak to him - even if it is just a consultation or to point anyone in the right direction.

      paulf - 2011-05-23 11:56

      @ Lauren, thanks for your input. I have sent Blondetopaz relevant information. Thanks.

      Whoosa - 2011-05-23 15:20

      @ Stormy, rather shutup, please.

      paulf - 2011-05-24 11:47

      Web site address http://www.marynaf.stemtechbiz.co.za

  • jake somber - 2011-05-22 16:22

    Good luck, just keep it out of the media like Huisgenoot, Rapport, etc.

      jake somber - 2011-05-22 16:23

      We don't need a month-to-month status update in the media ... thats what facebook is for.

  • herb77@24.com - 2011-05-22 16:25

    this is very sad . . . and not a place for callous comments.

  • 40 Something - 2011-05-22 16:39

    I have never been a fan of Joost, but to post callous comments about another human being is shocking. I hope you or a loved one never has to experience a terminal illness. One DOES NOT joke about illness! Sending prayers to Joost and his family.

      grant9 - 2011-05-22 21:25

      I gave your comment the 'thumbs up' but a point of correction : Our prayers should be sent to the Lord, not to Joost and fam.

      Salomé - 2011-05-25 11:30

      @Blanca - because He knows best, that is why we ask, and like everything else, we must be prepared for a no answer as well. How would we ever know what the path of any child looks like for the future. Maybe just maybe the early ending of suffering for a child means just that, Maybe I'm totally wrong, but what I do know is that God knows best, and we can only pray and believe.

  • fandash1 - 2011-05-22 16:48

    There is not a final diagnosis as yet, and there have been other reports stating that it may not be MND. Mark my words, when the final results come back and it is declared that he does not have it, he will proclaim it a miracle and that it was cured due to his faith. Time will tell.

      Believer - 2011-05-23 11:15

      Fandash1, You are a poop hole delux.

      Barry - 2011-05-23 11:40

      shithead

      nic2210@24.com - 2011-05-23 14:10

      You are f.....ng sick

      Shees - 2011-05-23 14:12

      WTH???? what is wrong with you...

      Muffyforu - 2011-05-23 16:40

      you are a wise man

  • Kevin - 2011-05-22 16:50

    While one feels sorry for Joost, I can't help but wonder if his use of drugs, esp cocaine, has played a role.  There is medical evidence to support this internationally.  If so, what a great opportunity for Joost to warn the youth of the dangers of drug abuse!  I hope he will have the courage to rise to the challenge.

      missmarie - 2011-05-22 17:08

      One certainly does not revel in anyone's pain and suffering but it does make one realise that it is true "you reap what you sow"

      wbs777 - 2011-05-22 17:41

      You obviously have NO idea what you're talking about. If this disease could be linked to something, don't you think doctors could do something about it? My grandfather died from MND, and I know for a fact that he never used drugs. If you want to comment on something, first get your facts straight

      Nardus Visser - 2011-05-22 18:10

      'You obviously have NO idea what you're talking about. If this disease could be linked to something, don't you think doctors could do something about it?" You are an idiot wbs777. AIDS can be linked to unprotected sex etc, but does that change the fact that doctors can't do anything to cure it? If you want to comment on something, first get your facts straight.

      grant9 - 2011-05-22 21:44

      One of the first things that came to mind when reading the article was about Joost 'snorting' a white powder. I like your idea that he should use the opportunity to warn youngsters about drugs, and the dangers of loose women. Heaven knows that there are enough risks getting involved with decent ones.

      chappy - 2011-05-22 22:26

      @Missmarie - so what you're saying is that you think a death sentence is a fair return from kharma for Joost's indiscretions? What exactly has he sown that deserves death?

      Werner - 2011-05-22 23:58

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motor_Neuron_Disease It's not an "unfair" assumption to make when considering substance abuse, however I will at most say it's "worthy of investigation".

      GinSA1 - 2011-05-23 06:59

      Kevin, please provide a link or reference for your comment. There is NO KNOWN LINK to lifestyle, drugs, playing with a stripper, or anything else where this disease is concerned. NONE, NADA, ZILCH!!!!!!!!! So, PLEASE provide the info you have

      Kevin - 2011-05-23 11:26

      To GinSA1: "Kevin, please provide a link or reference for your comment." Follow this link, it is an extract, but self-explanatory: http://www.bioportfolio.com/resources/pmarticle/49545/Cocaine-Use-And-Abuse- Triggering-Sporadic-Young-onset-Amyotrophic-Lateral-Sclerosis.html

      LinH - 2011-05-23 12:04

      He was a social user not a chronic abuser. The paragraph you refer to also distincly uses the word "may" cause not has been proven to cause as you indicate.

      GinSA1 - 2011-05-23 12:10

      Kevin, this is the link you provided - Summary To our knowledge, we describe for the first time the case of a male patient with sporadic young-onset amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, most likely attributed to chronic regular cocaine use and abuse. Our case supports the view that cocaine use and abuse may trigger a process of motor neuron degeneration by mechanisms implicating alterations in the neurobiology of the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate and its receptors. Note please that there is no definitive in it. The terms used are 'most likely' and 'may'. Hardly holds substance. And this is but one article as a maybe, whereas there are many highly recognised studies to the contrary. There are two types of the disease, and if you like I will send you the link. Eish, I am not even a Joost supporter, but we should steer clear of painting pictures

      Rocky - 2011-05-23 12:31

      Where is this medical evidence from? Please give the name of that institution that came across this idiotic statement. Is it maybe the people that claimed that the end of the world is here, and you have to book into a hotel? It sounds similar to a political statement, that our ant-sisters will haunt us if we vote wrong? Wake up you chop! You only live once. don't live through the eyes of others, you got your own eyes. open them!!

      watalife - 2011-05-23 12:56

      @LinH No he was not a social user it was part of his life for quite some time.

      Kevin - 2011-05-23 16:26

      Dont shoot the messenger please, I merely said "I can't help but wonder". Time will tell I am sure.

      Mike - 2011-05-23 20:17

      No Kevin, its not drugs - i suggest you read the literature before making silly comments ! I've seen 3 people die form the disease.

      Mike - 2011-05-23 20:22

      @GinSA1 Perhaps this reference is what you are liiking for http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motor_neuron_disease#Causes

  • Wayne - 2011-05-22 17:19

    If Shabir Shake Shake had known about this I'm sure he would have tried it to get out of prison.

  • crocowild - 2011-05-22 17:27

    For a long time Joost was the best scrumhalf this country has ever seen.Joost gave his all for his country and is a true patriot.Also as many under he made mistakes and paid a high price.As a fellow infallible human i have never thrown any stones at him.Unfortunately i see this country is rive with idiots living in glasshouses throwing stones at everyone they think deserves it.Your behaviour is typical of human beings on a lower level of development. Go back to your caves and hide there till the day you also err and your type can then do to you as you do unto others.The best of luck from everybody down here in the Cape ,Joost.

      Muffyforu - 2011-05-22 18:23

      crocowild - just because he played good rugby does not make him a true patriot. What if it come out in the wash that all he has is some neurological disorder brought on by snorting cocaine?He has then praid on the goodwill of true patriots and should be the one to crawl back into his cave

      andrew.pottow - 2011-05-22 20:12

      If you knew what you were talking about muffy, you would know its not linked to stress, substance abuse or anything along those lines. It is a mystery to the medical profession, and yes, those do still exist. No, being a good rugby player does not make him a patriot but as you seem to have missed is that being a patriot does not mean that you need to be infallible. I was never much of a fan, i was disappointed to say the least when his dirty washing was aired but I cant help but feel sorry for him. He made a mistake but that doesnt mean he doesnt deserve compassion in this trying time. I hope its not what they say it is. No one deserves this, not him and least of all his children.

  • Wayne - 2011-05-22 17:31

    Joost- One sometimes realises how fragile life is,my sister Had MND, she passed away 12 years ago after 3 years with MND, which after coming to terms with her condition she made the best of her time. I hope your 2nd diagnosis is negative, but if not, im pleased you have a good close family support system.To those fools that find it funny, beware life has a funny way of having the last Laugh..

  • Bill - 2011-05-22 17:52

    Dear Joost, may our Heavenly Father bless you with the ability to deal with this graciously.Many in this country who are Christ's followers will pray for you.and please do not be discouraged by those that criticise and mock.. as the Holy Bible says---'all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God' God bless you Joost.

  • jacques.weidemann - 2011-05-22 18:29

    Joost, I always thought you were a bit arrogant, but man, the fact that you played the RWC final with a broken rib and was the first man to tackle Lomu when it really mattered made me realise that I would rather have had you play with me than against me...you are a legend, and good luck with this fight.

  • vicj - 2011-05-22 18:44

    I cant believe there as so many sick and callous people out there. Your day will come. Joost, you have faith in the creator of all mankind and the world. He will look after you. What he has planned for you, only he knows.

  • Chris - 2011-05-22 18:54

    God bless you Joost. Nothing is impossible with God. Your faith will carry you and keep you strong. Keep your head up. There are thousands of people that are praying for you!

  • Carl Muller - 2011-05-22 19:04

    Joost, you will get up and go on with with your. We stand right behind you with this. May God bless. you!!!!!!!!

  • Carl Muller - 2011-05-22 19:09

    Many of those Psalms you sing so loudly in Church was done by a man who killed another man to have sex with his wife. King David. 1Ch 17:11 And it shall come to pass, when thy days be expired that thou must go to be with thy fathers, that I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall be of thy sons; and I will establish his kingdom. 1Ch 17:12 He shall build me an house, and I will stablish his throne for ever. 1Ch 17:13 I will be his father, and he shall be my son: and I will not take my mercy away from him, as I took it from him that was before thee: 1Ch 17:14 But I will settle him in mine house and in my kingdom for ever: and his throne shall be established for evermore. Joost did much less. Get it in your hearts to forgive him...and pray for him, and support him...it is your choice...

  • ikey_tiger - 2011-05-22 20:06

    Guys, seriously, this is a sensitive topic.. It's a human beings life we're talking of. Imagine if it were your brother/dad/close friend.. Please keep your commen comments for rugby-related articles..

      Swooney - 2011-05-23 11:07

      Human life - there are almost 8 billion of us!!! There's nothing special about humans except our appetite for destruction. You are talking about self-preservation here when you mention ' life' You fear death and the realization that there is nothing hereafter. Joost is a wife-cheater and drug pusher. He should get no pity.

  • LordBlount - 2011-05-22 20:31

    Superb player, flawed human being like the rest of us... best wishes, I'll always remember '95 with a lump in my throat...

      Dave - 2011-05-22 20:51

      Probably one of the few sensitive comments. I wish people would in fact read up on this disease before commenting. No matter what Joost did, this is a terrible sentence for him, no one should be diagnosed with this

      dante - 2011-05-22 22:31

      top comment lordblount!

      GinSA1 - 2011-05-23 12:14

      Best you see a doctor too, and quickly LordBlount

      Rocky - 2011-05-23 15:28

      At GinSA1. You realy are a loser!

      GinSA1 - 2011-05-24 06:53

      Rocky, visit the doctor with him. Serious chip on the ole' shoulder there

  • Mike - 2011-05-22 20:32

    Joost, I hope you will get well regardless of the medical test results. You have been mocked enough now. It’s better to be judged here on Earth, punished on Earth and to be give a chance to find your Lord again. Many of those who judge you are already in the jaws of hell, their response will always be the same, that of despair and hatred. The Fire beyond this world awaits their evil soles. As you have made mistakes, so have the majority of the human race. Joost, keep your head high and may God be with you and your children during this difficult time.

      Mike - 2011-05-22 20:46

      I noted a mistake in my message, souls and not soles, I'm not perfect either.

      Andrew Griffiths - 2011-05-22 22:06

      The devil made you do it Mike, all is forgiven.

      Carl Muller - 2011-05-23 10:25

      Look at what King David did......

      Muffyforu - 2011-05-23 16:27

      Mike - you the f#$$ do you think you are that you can decide who goes to the fire?? just because they don't agree with you?? ARROGANT PRICK

  • Monica - 2011-05-22 20:34

    Those that live in glass houses should not throw the first stone. It is so sad that so many men put their family on hold whilst they go around with other woman. It is not worth it; when you get sick these other woman won't stick around; but a wife will; especially if there is children involved. Once the men are caught out; they often loose their wives and once a prominent bussiness man; suddenly looses his dignity as well. It is not about being famous; it about living a life with the woman that you got married to and made children with her. God has a strange way of taking people out in this world; even the innocent. I had a husband that went on bussiness trips and even had escorts coming to his hotel room; I divorced him; then I lost my son 2 days before his graduation. A family should stick together and men should stop being unfaithful to their wives; even woman being unfaithful to their husbands; as most of my ex-husbands flings were with married or divorced woman. It is a sad situation for the children. My ex-husband married one of the prostitutes and now he has died. She destroyed my family and maybe many other families; but now I am happily re-married for 7 years. When you make the vow; keep to being faithful and take care of your family and we all have to work very hard at a marriage. For all those men and woman that get involved with a married man or woman; stop! Maybe God is the only person that can see it; but the harm that you cause is not worth it.

      burtfred - 2011-05-22 22:45

      Monica, I feel your pain and despair. Not all men are as you have written. For your husband to have done what you describe is not easy to accept or understand. I pray that you will meet a loving, caring partner that won't lie to you or deceive you. Somewhere there is such a person.

      peaceonearth - 2011-05-23 06:11

      Hard one Monica, I completely agree with you, Knew a religious family and the wife had an affair, next thing her and her son died in an accident, then another son later and their whole family were destroyed, what you say is true. Marry, stay together and mostly you will live long lives but this is about poor Joost and the point is not his mistakes, but that we sincerely hope and pray he recovers and wish him all the luck in the world. Anyway, your comments are true, adultery and divorce are the biggest sins other than murder, those three. I sincerely hope and pray that Joost and his wife get back together and stay happily married for many healthy years.

      HONKY101 - 2011-05-23 09:03

      this is not about you dear !!

      DolceNiente - 2011-05-23 10:24

      I'm sorry for your pain Monica, really- I can't begin to imagine how you must have suffered with your husband's infidelity and the death of your child. I honestly don't think it's fair though, to say that God takes people out of this world due to infidelity- I know a man who cheated on his wife countless times (over the course of 30 years.) He is alive and well- and flourishing financially. Other than that, I agree that once you make a vow- you should honour that. I wish there were more good husbands and fathers out there.

      Carl Muller - 2011-05-23 10:24

      Monica, when a man does not get a plate of food at home, he goes out for hamburgers... I tell my wife that all the time...I do not think you women understand how a man thinks, and then don't give him the attention he needs...... But you should know why your first husband walked around...

      Helen - 2011-05-23 11:19

      @Carl... Mmmm and what about the women who dont get enough attention? Not many of them go out and have affairs. Lets face it, MOST men think with the head that is not attached to their upper body whereas MOST women think with their heads that are. Anyway I guess this is not about straying...

      DolceNiente - 2011-05-23 11:52

      Hmm Carl- see my statement saying: 'I wish there were more good husbands out there'. I have deep sympathy for your wife. There are people who cheat regardless. If you have a problem with your relationship- you do the honourable thing and discuss it with your partner.

      GinSA1 - 2011-05-23 12:17

      Remember peaceonearth, how dear Joost and Amore got together in the first place. Short term or selective memory there? And Monica, start a page on Facebook. This was about Joost's health, or lack of it, not a 'Dear Abby' column

      waine - 2011-05-23 15:12

      Monica, your rationale is over simplified. So what you are saying is God punishes us here for adultery. And Joost is being punished, although he has "repented." What punishment has Zuma got for all his wonderful wives and children after all these years? And read the Bible, Romans 13, God puts the goverments in place. So adulterous Zuma is fine, with no punishment, because God put him there according to the Bible. Why diddnt Jimmy Swaggart lose any family members for his adultery? Please...this is another example of silly religious thinking.

      Skiballas - 2011-05-23 16:01

      @Helen...statistics (and I hate quoting them, believe me), state that more than 60% of woman will in their lifetime be unfaithful to a husband, compared to 44% of men. I do agree though, whether it is a husband or a wife who cheats, it usually, in my opinion, will be because they werent receiving something from the marriage that they longed for. Take it from someone who has had many a flawed relationship, and only himself to blame.

      LuLuBug - 2011-05-23 23:59

      Monica, I am sorry re all your pain....BUT! what has this got to do with Joost?????

      jan du preeaz - 2011-05-24 18:29

      yawn... boring

  • danie.crafford - 2011-05-22 21:43

    look in the mirror YOU FUNNY CREATURE!!!!!!!

  • danie.crafford - 2011-05-22 22:06

    if dude thinks that is funny!!!think again..............................IDIOTTabuttrsos

      Proefeet - 2011-05-23 09:47

      Danie, now that you are (hopefully) sober, maybe you want to try again?

      Shistirrer - 2011-05-23 10:37

      abuttrsos... butter sauce? You are on some kind of sauce, dude, but butter it aint.

  • Enigma - 2011-05-22 22:07

    One's personal feelings should really be kept in check. Joost has to fight this disease in full view of the world which is really going to make the challenges ahead all the more difficult.

      GinSA1 - 2011-05-23 12:18

      It is he who put his health story out there.

  • Paul Sephton - 2011-05-22 22:25

    Joost, You are a South African hero. You have been through an awful lot, and we wish you didn't have to go through more. We all carry you in our prayers and our hearts. Sterkte

  • Werner - 2011-05-22 23:54

    This is all just too coincidental ... mark my words, he'll bring out a book soon. If it's ALS and he only got it this late in life .. he will definitely last more than three years .. the younger you are, the poorer the diagnosis as far as I know. I wonder if he would have a custom maid text-to-speech voice system if he ever gets as far as Hawking has. . . and whether SuperSport will employ him again.

      jan du preeaz - 2011-05-24 18:25

      ag gaan speel met jou 2cm tottie loser

  • Pieter - 2011-05-23 04:53

    Joost is a legend. As an upcoming youngster in the 1994 Springbok team, after he was asked by Balie Swart, this man took the time to phone me (one of his biggest fan at that stage), an eleven year old boy, just to have a chat. I'll never forget that mate. All the best!

  • cathy.erlank - 2011-05-23 06:13

    Joost, i pray for you. We serve a God of the impossible, no matter what the people who comment here (some of them:) might say. Speak life! God wants to give us life abundantlly.

  • MJ77 - 2011-05-23 07:11

    God speed Joost!!!

      StormyRodger - 2011-05-23 13:20

      Hy is nie op speed nie hy is op OMO!

  • Malcolm - 2011-05-23 07:35

    "Provisional death sentence". I think this is what he is trying to say. I am still waiting for the "You Magazine articles". First the one about Joost and his feelings. Second the one about Amor's feelings, and lastly about them getting together again. Seven years after the three year death sentence, we will quite possibly still be reading about Joost, and so will he be reading about himself.

      GinSA1 - 2011-05-23 12:27

      It has already begun. And Amore has already started on the 'I still love him' after running around in curlers a few months ago when her lights were cut screaming abuse like I couldn't believe in the complex. But she sees the moola pouring in now again, and she'll be right there.........

  • Jacques Kirchner - 2011-05-23 07:49

    I would love to see some of users that comment with such insensitivity to walk up to Joost, look him in his eyes and say what they "think" in person. I guess when these people see the anguish in his eyes, they would rethink their opinions...I am a firm believer in the old saying that "the wheel turns slowly but surely", but we have all made mistakes! This man used to be one of the best Springbok rugby players ever. It must be terrible to have to face the prospect of not being able to do the most basic things for yourself and inevitably dying at a relatively young age.

      Lionel - 2011-05-23 14:45

      I have had some harsh things to say about Joost in the past and especially about his infidelity and then initially lying about it. It is sad that this has happened to him, however I still stand by what I said about the man and what I think of the man. His illness does not automatically change his character in my view and hopefully he realises how enormously fortunate he really was, before his Mr. Meaners and diagnoses of his illness . Most people in this country are far less fortunate than he was, yet remain greatful in the little they have. You are quite right in saying that the wheel turns slowly but surely, and this surely has happened in Joost's case, in all those close to him that he has emotionally hurt.

      jan du preeaz - 2011-05-24 18:23

      lionel, who gives you the right to judge prick?

  • Mrs.Black - 2011-05-23 07:58

    Just wondering all these people that think that this is funny what will they think if one of there family members announced that they have a incurable illness will you still be laughing..................you lack compassion........even what he did was wrong it does not mean he deserve a death sentence.

  • Uno_Beche - 2011-05-23 08:38

    Hopefully the end will come soon so he stops whining about this and making everyone feel sorry for himself. He brought everything on himself. Even this disease is a function of his drug induced lifestyle with prostitutes

      Zambezi - 2011-05-23 10:49

      what a wanker!!!!!!!!! MND is NOT contagious. So how did he get it from prossies? Twat!!!

      whitesa - 2011-05-24 09:12

      so, now you have been given the task of being judge over others and on top of that you are an expert on this illness giving you the expertise to say this illness is caused by himself. wow !!! and you think this comment of yours is going to make you what? certainly won't gain you respect nor will you be regarded as intelligent. be careful of what you wish for. wish the end will come soon !! who for, you or Joost ? who gives you the right to wish for the end of anyone ! Uno, i think your brain is as small as the car you are named after.

      B!anca - 2011-05-24 11:23

      LOL! Nice comment. There are people out there much worse off than him, why pity him. I have a chronic illness but I don't pity myself for I know there are people with much worse problems out there. I'm still lucky.

      kosie - 2011-05-24 14:01

      @ bianca: you really are a dark negative soul, if you open your eyes you'll see that god is showing you the light, you must just follow it...

      jan du preeaz - 2011-05-24 18:20

      ai ai ai, another test tube fu7kup, it seems that there is a lot of them on these forums

  • clivegoss - 2011-05-23 08:53

    Vasbyt Boet ons hier in Melkbosstrand dink aan jou. Krag van bo ! !

  • Jimmyfuse - 2011-05-23 08:59

    a real tragedy!! Wishing you everything of the best Joost!!

  • Margaret - 2011-05-23 09:05

    Joost you are not a whiner - you are a human being who inspired many others by your skills, but you are not indestructable either.This is your Everest.You will be able to climb it. Ignore the mean comments, and be assured that there are many people praying for you.God is over all and in all - strengthen your relationship with Him,and you will then experience his comforting and strengthening presence in a new and lasting way.The most important decision will be where you will spend eternity. Every single one of us has something to face, some now, and some in future days. Our God is a God of ALL circumstances. Put your trust in Him and He will see you through the days ahead. The mean comments are from jealous people who scoff at your pain and prognosis,most of whom have never faced something like this.Don't be afraid to lean on the people who love you, but most important keep your eyes on Jesus.

  • Insane - 2011-05-23 09:29

    Praying for you Joost. Hoping that the prognosis is very wrong....

  • Jynxd - 2011-05-23 09:30

    If Hawking can do it... So can Joost. I hope that he and his family stay strong! Regardless of what caused it, he is dealing with it now, and that is what matters. Be strong dude, thousands are thinking of you!!!

  • Callie - 2011-05-23 09:32

    Sterkte joosie,mag die Here jou dra deur hierdie tyd.

  • dylan stuart botha - 2011-05-23 09:33

    Joost, you are one strong man, you can fight this, let the stress go, and fight with all you have, we are all behind you.

  • Nordic - 2011-05-23 09:50

    "The DOCTOR who examined him, HAVE given him three years to live." Grammar check for the reporter?

      Jynxd - 2011-05-23 09:54

      Don't think that is important, but you should see some of the other articles....

      DolceNiente - 2011-05-23 10:27

      Actually, I DO think it's important. The errors I've come across on New24 are atrocious.

      Noitol - 2011-05-23 10:57

      Now that you mention it, I think the general standard of English "as she are wrote" on this and other forums is cause for acute embarrassment to the country at large.

  • Zambezi - 2011-05-23 10:28

    Good luck ou seun. We are all rooting for you.

  • Jethson - 2011-05-23 10:58

    J9- "The legend" be strong my friend. Your family, friends and I will always be there for you. Take it one day at a time and to those who have nothing good to say please keep it to yourself. Would PaulF please send me your details and I will forward it on to Joost.

      GinSA1 - 2011-05-23 12:31

      When a public personality decides to make public facts regarding his private life, the public he has informed are fully entitled to voice their opinion. If he only wants to hear sympathy, he has clearly gone the wrong route. I am not a vdWesthuizen supporter, but if this is confirmed, it is a horrendous thing. I wish him well. That however does not and should not stop the public from commenting

      Rocky - 2011-05-24 14:54

      GinSA1. What are you on about? Make up your mind bru! 1st you tell someone to go and see a doctor because he gave his support and condolences to Joost. Then you wish him well??? c'mon man?! Oh, and about that "Serious chip on the ole' shoulder there" Thanks for noticing:-)

  • al_bundy - 2011-05-23 12:16

    I ask again - all those who are now condemning him for whatever reasons, what would your reaction be had it been a family member or a close friend of yours..

  • The Goose - 2011-05-23 12:59

    Sterkte Joost!

  • sharnic - 2011-05-23 13:03

    I will keep you in my prayers Joost. God bless you and I know he will give you the strength if you ask for it in faith. I also believe in daily meditation, by giving thanks to God for everything.

  • Carel de Braal - 2011-05-23 13:06

    HOW MANY GRAMMATICAL AND SPELLING MISTAKES DOES THIS ARTICLE HAVE? EDITOR??? WAKE UP AND DO YOUR JOB

      StormyRodger - 2011-05-23 13:21

      En hoekom skryf jy in hoofletters jou aap!

      DolceNiente - 2011-05-23 13:50

      Stormyrodger: Carel de Braal het 'n goeie punt beet! Dalk trek die hoofletters die redaksie span se aandag!

  • stolk.ie - 2011-05-23 13:09

    Bit late to rely on your faith now, when you ignored that same faith when it suited you. However, I wish him the very, very best and let's hope for some good news on the second opinion.

  • garthw60 - 2011-05-23 13:48

    Vasbyt Joost!!

  • Ludakris - 2011-05-23 13:54

    8 years ago I travelled with a close friend to the children's oncology ward of a large, renowned hospital. Her 5 year old son was in there (I'll call him Nick) with lukaemia and not expected to live (he passed away later). When we arrived, a slight, bald headed and very pale but sprightly little rugger fan squealed past us. I was Nick, clutching a rugby ball, defending his strides. His mom called him back ... I asked him "Are you Nicholas, I've heard all about you and what a brave boy you've been...". The little one looked back at me and indignantly reminded me of an acute assumption ... "I'm not Nick. I'm Joost Vazzervesthayzzin! Look at my next try...! ..." and he was off again. Sorry, Joost, I never read your book; I never gloated over your personal life, either. But I saw utter joy and light in a small child whose own bleak road he was oblivious to. A child who also knew nothing of your private life, your mistakes. A wonderful, gorgeous, innocent child, cruelly sentenced .. was vigorously inspired; ... by you ... and the many, great, fantastic sportsmen and women this country produces inspire so many. Having experienced that incident, I now avoid any and all "lynch-mob" aggression. Because *nothing* may erase what little Nick's idol meant to him. No words that a man writes will ever, in my mind, obliterate that okie's one last dream: "I'm gonna be Joost when I grow up...". It was a beautiful thing.

      Noitol - 2011-05-23 14:36

      An inspiring message indeed, and one that might well add a grain or two of flint to Joost's resolve. As with Hansie, let's uphold and admire this man for his greatness rather than condemn him for his human frailties.

      WINNERS1M - 2011-05-23 16:56

      What a pleasure to read your opinion! There are many good wishes and prayers which I also hope will be answered. With all due respect to all those positive and mature comments and wishes, yours is the most moving, inspirational and gut-wrenchingly human and honest. I feel desperately with you !!

      WINNERS1M - 2011-05-23 17:01

      What an absolute pleasure to read, amoungst all the other good wishes and prayers, a truly honest, humane, gut-wrenching out-pouring of one's feelings! Bless you, my friend.

      Ludakris - 2011-05-24 06:11

      Thank you Noitol, Winners and those that have "thumbed-up". Rest well assured I'm by NO means a good, or even better person than anyone else. We'll never remove the resent in others; we may only compare & perhaps be grateful that, without such acidic comments, some of us may never understand where we trip up. Condemning such writing is just as negative as those whom condemn Joost. The simplest remedy in my mind, is to ignore negativity, read of and if we have to comment, rather be positive. And there is, I believe, a LOT out there, that Joost & anyone else experiencing a difficult diagnosis may do, that is positive. That includes the courage and faith to switch off worry, depression and or fear... and move into an orbit that offers mental, spiritual and personal reward. Let's trust Joost (and others) grabs opportunities to clear his mind of these worrying if not ominous cobwebs that take a scary stranglehold in our lives, and adopts some "chicken soup for the soul" activities. Anything: whale watching, visiting oncology wards; school -talking to kids about inspiration &aspiration; things that may leave him feeling...inspired to keep going. On many occasion this man had crowds of tens of thousands roaring him on worldwide. Yes despite his misgivings (that we are ALL capable of doing), Joost also showed us passion. That's indeed no lie. We owe him a little compassion. But more than that, he owes himself some good time to think positively.

  • Micheal - 2011-05-23 13:56

    Really hope Joost goes on for alot longer than the doctors predict. This man is a legend. The best scrumhalf SA has ever seen!!!

  • Marlene - 2011-05-23 15:13

    I'd love to know who among us is so free of sin that they actually have the right to point fingers. It must be so hard to be in the public eye- they love you one minute and hate you the next! Joost you earned your place in our hearts - we wish you strength to deal with whatever is to come.