The three oldest daughters of Bruce Willis say they are “overwhelmed” and “in awe” of the love so many people have for their father, after their family revealed Thursday that the 67-year-old actor has been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia (FTD), a degenerative brain disorder.
Taking to her Instagram Story late Thursday, Willis’ second daughter Scout, 31, shared a selfie of her in a hoodie and wrote, “Feeling emotionally tired and a bit overwhelmed, yet also very in awe of the love so many people have for my papa.”
Scout’s sisters, Rumer, 34 and Tallulah Willis, 29, re-shared her Story on their own accounts and echoed that they are “grateful” for the support that has poured in since making their announcement. “Second this Scouter feeling the abundant love for our guy and our family,” Tallulah wrote.
The “Die Hard” star’s entire family, including his current wife, Emma Heming Willis, and his ex-wife Demi Moore, released a joint statement Thursday explaining the “cruel” diagnosis he had finally received after initially being told in 2022 that he was suffering from aphasia. Willis shares Rumer, Scout and Tallulah with Moore. He also has two daughters—Mabel, 10, and Evelyn, 8—with Emma Willis.
When Willis retired from acting in March 2022, his family said that he had aphasia, a medical condition that can affect a person’s ability to speak, write and understand both verbal and written language, according to the Mayo Clinic.
In their announcement Thursday, the family said they have been given “a more clear diagnosis: frontotemporal dementia.” In a statement on the website for the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration, the family said that “challenges of communication” are just one symptom the actor faces.
While receiving the FTD diagnosis was “painful,” the family said “it is a relief to finally have a clear diagnosis.”
The Mayo Clinic said that FTD is an umbrella term for a group of brain disorders that affect the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain, which are generally associated with personality, behavior and language. Some 10% to 20% of dementia cases can be attributed to FTD, which often begins between the ages of 40 and 65.
While symptoms vary, people with FTD sometimes experience dramatic changes in their personalities and become socially inappropriate, impulsive or emotionally indifferent; others lose the ability to use language properly.
“Today there are no treatments for the disease, a reality that we hope can change in the years ahead,” Willis’ family said. They explained they were going public with the actor’s diagnosis because he “always believed in using his voice in the world to help others and to raise awareness about important issues both publicly and privately.”
The family hinted at the severity of Willis’ condition by saying, “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.”
“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,” the family’s statement also said.
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