Rugby

Joost: I'm on my deathbed

2013-08-21 12:10
Joost van der Westhuizen (Getty Images)
Cape Town - Former Springbok scrumhalf Joost van der Westhuizen has admitted that he is on his deathbed as he continues his battle with motor neuron disease (MND).

The 42-year-old was diagnosed with the deadly disease in 2011 and has steadily deteriorated since then.

"I realise every day could be my last," he told the BBC Sport website in a telephonic interview.

VIDEO: Bulls back Joost's foundation

"It's been a rollercoaster from day one and I know I'm on a deathbed from now on.

"I've had my highs and I have had my lows, but no more. I'm a firm believer that there's a bigger purpose in my life and I am very positive, very happy."

Since being diagnosed with MNS, Van der Westhuizen has set up the J9 Foundation which is a charity that raises awareness about the disease.

Despite his plight, Van der Westhuizen said he's made peace with his situation.

"I led my life at a hundred miles an hour. I've learned that there are too many things that we take for granted in life and it's only when you lose them that you realise what it is all about.

"But I know that God is alive in my life and with experience you do learn. I can now talk openly about the mistakes I made because I know my faith won't give up and it won't diminish.

"It's only when you go through what I am going through that you understand that life is generous."

Van der Westhuizen scored 38 tries in 89 Tests for the Boks after making his international debut against Argentina in Buenos Aires in 1993. He played his last match in the Green and Gold against New Zealand in Melbourne in November in 2003.

Read more on:    joost van der westhuizen  |  rugby
NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

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
282 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

Big month in the world of golf as the FedEx Cup concludes on the PGA Tour, the Race to Dubai gathers steam on the European Tour and the Sunshine Tour offers local golfers the chance to bank some cash. Oh, and not forgetting the USA v Europe Ryder Cup showdown at Hazeltine!

Latest blogs
Vote

Jake White will leave his job as Montpellier coach next year. Where would you like to see the former Springbok coach, coach next?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

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