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

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