Joost gambles on treatment

2011-08-25 06:45
Joost van der Westhuizen (File)

Antoinette Pienaar

Pretoria - "I'm going to fight this thing. Don’t worry, I’m not going to die too soon,” said Joost van der Westhuizen at a media conference in Midrand on Wednesday to announce that he is undergoing experimental stem cell treatment in a desperate attempt to cure his motor neuron disease.

Dr Jody Pearl, a specialist neurologist, said the treatment was developed by Doctor Steve Ray, a British neuron-scientist.

The SA Rugby Legends Association has offered to collect money for Van der Westhuizen’s medical costs.

“The treatment was not an overnight decision. I spent a long time with the doctors,” Van der Westhuizen said.

Three weeks ago fat cells were harvested from his body during a minor surgical procedure. Netcells Cryogenics isolated his mesenchymal stem cells, which also appear in babies’ umbilical cords and can help to repair damaged cells in the body.

Ray’s patented technique was used to develop a product with which Van der Westhuizen was injected. He said his treatment offers no guarantees, but he stands to lose nothing, and could possibly help contribute to a cure.


Read more on:    joost van der westhuizen


Read News24’s Comments Policy 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.
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk
Most Read


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

No '07 France ghosts - Foster
Boks not underestimating Wales scrum
Boks play repeat knockout at RWC
O'Connell out of World Cup - Laporte
/World Cup
Love 2 Meet

Take a photographical trip down memory lane and remind yourself of how the Springboks fared in their five previous Rugby World Cup campaigns. In addition, pick your all-time Springbok Rugby World Cup Dream Team and you could win R3 000!

Latest blogs

The Springboks will face Wales in the 2015 Rugby World Cup quarter-finals at Twickenham on Saturday. Who will walk away victorious?

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

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

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