Joost: My illness is a blessing

2013-07-11 07:46
Joost van der Westhuizen (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Former Springbok scrumhalf Joost van der Westhuizen says his devastating illness has made him realise what is really important in life.

Van der Westhuizen launched his new book, 99 dinge wat ek wil hê my kinders moet weet (99 things I want my children to know), at a restaurant in Pretoria on Wednesday.

He was diagnosed with motor neuron disease (MND) in 2011, and has since been consigned to wheelchair as the deadly virus slowly breaks his body down.

But according to the Beeld website, the 42-year-old former scrumhalf believes the illness has given him the opportunity to make right some wrongs in his life.

"I realise... every day could be my last. It could also be your last. Therefore, I often tell people: 'Live as though today is your last day'.

"Since I've looked at life in this manner, I can honestly say: 'Every day is an unbelievable experience'," he writes in the first of the 99 listings.

He also describes how he always looks at the positives in life.

"It may sound strange, but I'm very lucky to have MNS. I feel it's a blessing. It gives me time to make things right - things many people put on the back burner until 'later'.

"I can work on myself, pay attention to my relationships and also get material things in order. Not everyone gets that chance."

Coenie Schoeman of Carpe Diem Media publishers said for every sample of the book sold, R10 will go to a fund which helps with Van der Westhuizen's medical expenses.

Read more on:    joost van der westhuizen  |  rugby


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

Scots beat Samoa, end Japan's dream
Woodcock's career ended by injury
Major Payne as Ireland lose star centre
As it happened: Samoa 33 Scotland 36
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


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 open their 2015 Rugby World Cup campaign against Japan. How do you see the match ending?

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.