Joost takes MND fight global

2013-11-15 10:12
Joost van der Westhuizen (Getty Images)
Cape Town - Joost van der Westhuizen is set to team up with Edinburgh university researchers to help tackle the Motor Neuron Disease (MND) he suffers from.

The 42-year-old former Springbok scrumhalf, diagnosed with MND in 2011, is currently in Edinburgh where the Boks tackle Scotland in a Test match on Sunday.

After being diagnosed, Van der Westhuizen set up the J9 Foundation, which provides support and care to people with MND.

According to the BBC News website, Van der Westhuizen will launch the new collaboration with scientists from the University of Edinburgh on Friday.

The new partnership will see members and supporters of the foundation meet experts from the university's Euan MacDonald Centre for Motor Neurone Disease Research to discuss the latest research.

J9's visit to Edinburgh is part of a 10-day tour of the United Kingdom aimed at raising awareness and funds to support those affected by the illness.

Van der Westhuizen, who has since been confined to a wheelchair, said he is excited about the new project. He said they are not only raising awareness and funds, but for the first time also "bringing international research partnerships home".

He tweeted the following on Friday:

Big day for the #J9Foundation today. #MNDresearch #EuanMcDonaldCentre

The 89-Test veteran will also be honoured by the Scottish Rugby Union before Sunday's Test at Murrayfield, which kicks off at 17:00 (SA time).


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