Last year, Bruce Willis was diagnosed with a condition called aphasia. In February this year, the family announced that his condition progressed to frontotemporal dementia.
Emma Heming Willis, the wife of Hollywood star Bruce Willis, is spearheading the awareness about frontotemporal dementia. She recently appeared on a news channel commemorating the beginning of World Frontotemporal Dementia Awareness Week to shed light on the challenges of caring for individuals affected by dementia.
For the uninitiated, last year, Bruce Willis was diagnosed with a condition called aphasia. In February this year, the family announced that his condition progressed to frontotemporal dementia.
Bruce Willis' battle with frontotemporal dementia
Emma gave a brief insight into how the family was coming to terms with Bruce's illness. "Dementia is hard. It’s hard on the person diagnosed, it’s also hard on the family. And that is no different for Bruce, or myself, or our girls. When they say this is a family disease, it really is," Emma said on TODAY.
Emma is Bruce's second wife and the couple have two children together. She revealed that the proper diagnosis has enabled the family to navigate the situation more effectively. "It's the blessing and the curse," she said.
And she also shared the most disheartening part of dealing with her husband's illness. She was not sure whether Bruce was aware of his worsening medical condition.
Understanding frontotemporal dementia
Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a rare neurological disorder that affects the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain, which are responsible for controlling behaviour, personality, language, and executive functions.
Currently, there is no cure for FTD or no exciting medication to stop the further progression of the condition.
Emma's mission to raise awareness
It's said that the medical community is not fully aware as to what causes this illness, which is a progressive degeneration of certain brain regions. It could be linked to genetics, lifestyle factors, or even traumatic head injuries, but there is not enough data to understand it fully and develop a cure.
Emma has been actively working to raise awareness and mobilise enough support to intensify the research efforts for this challenging disease
"My mission is to raise awareness for frontotemporal dementia. While this is a heavy subject I feel it’s for the greater good. I’m so very grateful to the @todayshow and @hodakotb for having Susan and I on today to educate and raise awareness about FTD while letting our community know that they are not alone," she wrote on her Instagram page.