It's been a sobering couple of days. While back in my family home of South Wales I visited by dad, who's currently stuck in hospital. He has advanced Alzheimer's disease and is a shell of the person he was. I don't mind saying I was shocked to see his deterioration since Christmas and I'm not ashamed to say I cried.
When I run and complete the Everest Marathon my dad will sadly not know what I have done or why. He always wanted to see Everest and the Himalayas with his own eyes. It's one of the few things he still knows about himself. Dementia is just so cruel, so awful.
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To top off a dreadful 24 hours the news arrived from South Africa that Joost van der Westhuizen, possibly the best scrum half to play rugby in the professional era finally succumbed to MND. My dad has always appreciated great rugby players and Joost was great. If you're not a rugby fan it's hard to over emphasise just how colossal a figure he is/was in the sport. He played the game like a warrior, he was the ultimate competitor until the very last second of the game, quite often winning the match in the process. He fought MND like he played rugby, a warrior and an inspiration to all around him. For six years to battled but tragically there's no injury time winning try to be scored.
As a truly monumental sportsman his passing will attract much media attention, hopefully Joost's legacy, the J9 foundation, will keep his fight to find a cure for MND alive, so that those MND warriors currently fighting this cruel disease will get to score that winning try and beat MND once and for all.
Alzheimer's and MND you can go f&@k yourselves, I'm royally sick of you destroying people's lives.