There is a lot we can learn from Joost van der Westhuizen’s spirit in facing personal adversities. For one, feeling sorry for ourselves and second-guessing our choices will lead nowhere; we should simply take the bull by the horns and make the absolute best of the lives we have.
Joost will be remembered for his excellent leadership role and impressive talent that he displayed on the field for the national rugby team which made him one of the best playing scrumhalves in the world. This is without failing to mention his crucial pass to Joel Stansky for the match winning drop kick in the infamous 1995 Rugby World Cup.
It is to no surprise that an Official Funeral was declared for the late Springbok Captain and rugby legend, who passed away from losing his battle with motor neuron disease.
Given only twenty four months to live when he was first diagnosed in 2011, Joost formed a foundation in aid of those suffering from the same illness as himself, The J9 Foundation.
The aim of this foundation is to contribute towards research in Africa and to raise awareness for the fatal illness. His strength and bravery took him on a plane to Heathrow Airport, London in November 2013 on his quest to find a cure for the disease. This after being told he would never travel internationally again.
It is from him that we learn what courage and perseverance is all about.
We thank you Joost, for sharing with us your determination and passion for life.