Longtime actor Bruce Willis has been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia (FTD), and his family informed fans of the condition Thursday to raise awareness.
Bruce Willis has been an industry icon since his breakthrough role as John McClane in Die Hard, and has had a storied acting career ever since. But it was a career cut short by Bruce Willis’ own hand last year when he officially retired from acting, citing the health problem of aphasia, a symptom of the disease that causes the loss of the ability to understand or express speech. Yesterday, the Willis family released a statement on the website of the Association of Frontotemporal Degeneration to inform his fans of the condition he has officially been diagnosed with in an effort to raise awareness of the untreatable disease.
The Willis Family writes “Since we announced Bruce’s diagnosis of aphasia in spring 2022, Bruce’s condition has progressed and we now have a more specific diagnosis: frontotemporal dementia (known as FTD). Unfortunately, challenges with communication are just one symptom of the disease Bruce faces. While this is painful, it is a relief to finally have a clear diagnosis” on the sad news.
For anyone unaware, according to Johns Hopkins, frontotemporal dementia (FTD), the most prevalent type of dementia, is a set of illnesses caused by the loss of nerve cells in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. This causes the lobes to contract. FTD can have an impact on one’s behaviour, demeanour, language, and movement.
The family of Emma, Demi, Rumer, Scout, Tallulah, Mabel and Evelyn continued: “Bruce always believed in using his voice in the world to help others and to raise awareness of important issues both publicly and privately. We know in our hearts that – if he could today – he would want to respond by bringing global attention and a connection to those who are also dealing with this debilitating disease and how it affects so many individuals and their families”.
Fans and Hollywood colleagues have been pouring in with support for the actor, especially on Twitter with messages of hope. Maria Shriver emphasized the importance of raising awareness of Bruce’s condition, saying: “My heart goes out to Bruce Willis and his family.” The same sentiment can be seen echoed by fans of his undying legacy in film, especially Twitter user @tS0u, who posted his Comedy Central spiel featured on his own Roast, that ended with “I’m still Bruce Fucking Willis.”
While the disease has no treatment available yet, the family cited Willis’ drive to do the right thing as the reason for coming forward with his diagnosis publicly. in an effort to potentially help more people that suffer from the same disease. Fans can read the whole statement on Bruce Willis over on the FTD website, and can find more details on the condition there.