We were saddened to hear that South African rugby legend Joost van der Westhuizen has passed away from MND.
Joost van der Westhuizen was diagnosed with MND in 2011. When he retired from international rugby in 2003, Joost was the most capped South African player, with 89 Test caps and 38 Test tries, a record only recently broken.
Following his diagnosis, the former scrum-half set up the J9 Foundation, which provides support and care to MND sufferers, their families and carers.
Joost and the J9 Foundation visited the Euan MacDonald Centre in 2013. The visitors met the MacDonald family and researchers, fostering partnerships between Scotland and South Africa.
The visit was also marked by our first fundraising Sports Quiz, then entitled “Joost a Sports Quiz” in van der Westhuizen’s honour (see poster, right).
Since this first successful event, Just a Sports Quiz has become a much anticipated annual fixture in the Euan MacDonald Centre calendar, raising tens of thousands of pounds for MND research.