Joost Van Der Westhuizen and Amor Vittone have taken to social media to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and remind them to live life to the fullest.


South African rugby legend Joost van der Westhuizen, who has motor neurone disease, is apparently desperately ill, fighting every day, with some speculating that this could be his last Christmas.

Joost, who is confined to a wheelchair and uses an EyeTracker computer to help him communicate, was diagnosed with motor neurone disease almost six years ago, and ‘was given’ just a few years to live.

“The 45-year-old former Springbok was given two to five years, but continues to defy the odds.”

Since then, the rugby legend formed the J9 foundation, in aid of those suffering from the same form of fatal illness that he was diagnosed with.

Joost created a platform through this foundation to allow people, companies and friends to support the quality of life programs available within this organization. They also use funds to look after disadvantaged community members who have Motor Neuron Disease but might not have the means or resources to help themselves.

The J9 Foundation’s core objectives are to contribute to research in Africa and raise awareness, both locally and internationally for Motor Neuron Disease with the intent of teaching people about the disease who will then, in turn, support efforts across the globe to find a cure or cause.

Friends and family say the South African hero’s condition, continues to deteriorate. His ex-wife Marlene Duvenage spoke to You magazine a few weeks ago about one of her recent visits to the frail star.

“Sjoe, it’s hard to see him like this. I’m always shocked, because every time I go to see him, his condition has deteriorated further.”

“But he’s just as positive and humorous as always.”

“He communicates with me on his EyeTracker and then I finish his sentences – he knows how that irritates people who stutter, but Joost just laughs at me. I have to, otherwise it takes too long.”

Vittone took to Facebook on Christmas morning to post photos of Joost and the family with a message of hope and love.

“This is one emotional Christmas, with the entire family together. Merry Christmas and remember to live life to the fullest, because life is so short.”

The GoodThingsGuy team would like to wish Joost, Amor and their entire family a special Christmas. Thank you for all that you do and all that you keep doing.

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Sources: Facebook | YOU | J9 Foundation

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About the Author

Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.


  1. Joost you were an amazing legend to be remembered for many years to come. I take my hat off to Amor for all the love and support despite the circumstances. You are indeed a woman of substance and deserves a lot of respect.
    RIP Joost

    Maria Woelk

  2. RIP Joost and strength to Amor, his family and friends and all those he touched. May you find solace knowing he is in a pain free happier place, lovingly watching over you. God bless

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