Pretoria - Former Springbok captain Joost van der
Westhuizen on Sunday announced that he is heading to the US for clinical
studies in connection with his diagnosis of a form of Motor Neuron Disease (MND).
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"They said I would be in a wheelchair after a
year. They said I had a 20% chance to live two years. And I decided
'stuff them.' I will decide when I go," Van der Westhuizen said in a
In 2011 Van der Westhuizen was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), an aggressive form of MND.
der Westhuizen will participate in clinical studies in Boston at the
Massachusetts General Hospital, where the chief of neurology, Dr Merit
Cudowicz, is currently conducting research into the disease.
former rugby star - who established the J9 Foundation for other
sufferers of the disease - will also visit the Eleanor and Lou Gehrig
Centre in New York, which provides research and clinical support for
Van der Westhuizen said he hoped to establish a similar institute in South Africa.
the beginning you go through all the emotions and you ask, 'Why me?'
It's quite simple, 'Why not me?' If I have to go through this to help
future generations, why not me?" said Van der Westhuizen.