Joost van der Westhuizen documentary premieres
A biographical film about the former rugby star's battle with MND made its debut in Cape Town.
CAPE TOWN - A new documentary chronicling Joost van der Westhuizen's battle with Motor Neuron Disease (MND) has premiered in Cape Town.
The former Springbok attended the screening of Glory Game at the Silwerskerm Film Festival on Thursday evening.
In addition to taking viewers on a worldwide journey in search of better treatment and research, the ailing star has announced plans for a special treatment centre.
Although wheelchair-bound and struggling to speak, he told journalists he hopes the film aids others, especially sufferers who live in rural areas.
"Remember, I have lived through the highest highs and the lowest lows, and if through my experience I'm able to help anyone with this movie then I am happy."
The goal is to establish the Joost van der Westhuizen Centre for Neurodegeneration to provide patients with world-class multi-disciplinary care and drive research.
It will cost an estimated R55 million to build the facility.
Filmmaker Odette Schwegler says they hope to change the face of care for South African patients and ignite research to help solve the mystery of MND.
"Looking at our sportsmen currently that we know of, we have two former Springboks who are afflicted, we have one former Sharks player and a former Bulls coach - and that is out of 26 beneficiaries… that's really high incidence, and we don't know why and finding out why requires research," she says.