Rugby

Joost's mind 'still 100%'

2013-05-23 10:01
Joost van der Westhuizen (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Despite Motor Neuron Disease (MNS) breaking his body down, former Springbok scrumhalf Joost van der Westhuizen's mind is still 100%, the head of his J9 Foundation says.

VIDEO: Joost van der Westhuizen's accepts a cheque from Hooters

David Thorpe, who heads the foundation which helps people suffering from MNS, was speaking to Beeld at the Hooters restaurant in Fourways, Johannesburg on Wednesday.

Van der Westhuizen was there to collect R10 000 which the restaurant chain donated to the foundation.

“We are thrilled to donate the substantial funds raised at the Miss Hooters SA Swimsuit Pageant to the J9 Foundation. I have the utmost respect for Joost van der Westhuizen and the battle he, and others, are fighting against this devastating disease. We decided to show our support of the great work that Joost is doing by contributing financially to this worthy cause.

"Part of Hooters SA’s commitment to provide an all-round neighbourhood restaurant experience is getting involved in projects that can help our fellow South Africans - and this is one of those occasions,” said Hooters South Africa COO Gordon Jestin after handing over the cheque to a very appreciative Van der Westhuizen.

“The J9 Foundation is committed to the goal of helping those who are living with motor neuron disease as well as their families. We will be able to do so much good with the funds donated to us by Hooters South Africa. I am very grateful to receive this cheque on behalf of the Foundation and look forward to putting it to good use in the future,” Van der Westhuizen stated after having received the donation.

The former Blue Bulls No 9 is very frail at present and struggles to talk. He had drinks with, and posed for photos with the waitresses, but was unable to get out of his wheelchair, the newspaper reported.

"Thank you very, very much for your help," was almost all he could utter - before predicting the Bulls would beat the Sharks by 11 points in their Super Rugby clash in Durban on Saturday (kick-off is at 19:10).

Thorpe said Van der Westhuizen remains upbeat despite his condition.

"Joost is doing very well. His mind is still 100%, but this terrible illness is breaking his body down."

Van der Westhuizen, who played 89 Tests for the Springboks, was diagnosed with MNS in 2011.


From left to right: Dave Thorpe (Co-ordinator of J9 Foundation), Joost van der Westhuizen and Gordon Jestin (COO of Hooters)

Read more on:    joost van der westhuizen  |  rugby
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