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Afrikaans singer André Schwartz opens up about motor neuron disease diagnosis

2019-02-01 10:55
André Schwartz
André Schwartz. (Photo: Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Afrikaans singer André Schwartz has revealed that he has been diagnosed with motor neuron disease – the same illness that former South African rugby player Joost van der Westhuizen suffered from.

André made the announcement in an interview with Netwerk24’s Terésa Coetzee that was published on Friday.

According to the Ek Wil Jou Nooit Weer Sien singer, he was diagnosed in April 2018 already after experiencing symptoms and being encouraged by a doctor friend to go see a specialist.

At the time of his diagnosis André was starring as Captain von Trapp in a theatre production of The Sound of Music.

Health24 reports that motor neuron disease (MND) is not one disease but is instead a term that refers to a group of disorders that destroy motor neurons, the nerve cells which control the actions of voluntary muscles used in breathing, swallowing, and walking.

“MND is a relentless, progressive disorder, with only 10% surviving 10 years. There are notable exceptions though, like Prof. Steven Hawkins,” reports the health news website.

According to André he is not angry or upset over the diagnosis and says he will deal with the cards that he was dealt. The singer, whose upper-body is mostly affected, is currently undergoing treatment to slow down the progression of the disease.

He added that he has changed his lifestyle to ensure he eats healthier and avoids starch and sugar in his food.

In October last year the singer made headlines when he was robbed and held at gunpoint in the parking lot of the Wilgeheuwel Hospital in Roodepoort whilst visiting his mother, Ina Engelbrecht. He escaped the ordeal unharmed, Huisgenoot reported.

(Sources: Netwerk24, Health24, Huisgenoot)