Bruce Willis’ wife Emma Heming has shared an update on the actor following his frontotemporal dementia (FTD) diagnosis.
After announcing the diagnosis in February, Emma appeared on Today on Monday (September 25) to discuss his condition, describing how it has been “hard” on the whole family, including their two daughters Mabel, 11, and Evelyn, 8.
“What I’m learning is that dementia is hard,” Emma said on the show. “It’s hard on the person diagnosed, it’s also hard on the family. And that’s no difference for Bruce, myself or our girls. When they say this is family disease, it really is.”
Frontotemporal dementia is a rare form of the disease that causes a deterioration in movement, personality, behaviour and language.
“I think it was the blessing and the curse,” Emma said about receiving the diagnosis for her husband. “To finally understand what was happening so that I can be into the acceptance of what is. It doesn’t make it any less painful but just being in the acceptance, and just being in the know of what is happening to Bruce, makes it a little bit easier.”
Asked if Willis is aware of what’s happening to him, Emma replied: “It’s hard to know.”
“We’re a very honest and open household,” she added, when asked about how they went about explaining the illness to their daughters. “And, the most important thing was to be able for us to say what the disease was, explain what it is because when you know what the disease is from a medical standpoint, it sort of all makes sense.
“So it was important that we let them know what it is because, you know, I don’t want there to be any stigma or shame attached to their dad’s diagnosis, or for any form of dementia.”
Willis’ family previously announced in March last year he would be stepping away from acting after developing aphasia, a condition that impedes a person’s ability to speak and write.
Quentin Tarantino, however, reportedly wants to give the actor his final ever movie appearance in his next film, The Movie Critic. The pair previously worked together on 1994 film Pulp Fiction.