Bruce Willis' family confirm he's been diagnosed with dementia
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Die Hard actor Bruce Willis has been diagnosed with Frontotemporal Dementia.
The 67-year-old actor's family announced the news in a joint statement with his wife Emma and five daughters on Instagram.
Posted with a picture of the actor on the beach, the heartbreaking statement was also shared by the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration on their website.
The statement read: “Our family wanted to start by expressing our deepest gratitude for the incredible outpouring of love, support and wonderful stories we have all received since sharing Bruce’s original diagnosis.
“In the spirit of that, we wanted to give you an update about our beloved husband, father and friend since we now have a deeper understanding of what he is experiencing.
"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).”
They then discussed the actor’s prognosis and their relief at his diagnosis - despite the challenges it will undoubtedly bring.
"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,” it read.
"FTD is a cruel disease that many of us have never heard of and can strike anyone. For people under 60, FTD is the most common form of dementia, and because getting the diagnosis can take years, FTD is likely much more prevalent than we know,” they wrote.
"Today there are no treatments for the disease, a reality that we hope can change in the years ahead. As Bruce’s condition advances, we hope that any media attention can be focused on shining a light on this disease that needs far more awareness and research.
"Bruce always believed in using his voice in the world to help others, and to raise awareness about important issues both publicly and privately."
They continued: "We know in our hearts that – if he could today -- he would want to respond by bringing global attention and a connectedness with those who are also dealing with this debilitating disease and how it impacts so many individuals and their families."
They also shared resources for fellow suffers, advising where they could gain extra support: "Ours is just one family with a loved one who suffers from FTD, and we encourage others facing it to seek out the wealth of information and support available through AFTD (@theaftd, theaftd.org).
"And for those of you who have been fortunate enough to not have any personal experience with FTD, we hope that you will take the time to learn about it, and support AFTD’s mission in whatever way you can." they wrote, signing off as a family.
The announcement comes after the Moonlighting actor announced his retirement in 2022, following his diagnosis of aphasia.
Willis and his wife have been married since 2019, and share two young daughters.
He was previously married to actor Demi Moore, with who he has three daughters.