Bruce Willis’ family announced last year that the Die Hard alum was “stepping away” from acting following his diagnosis with aphasia, which is a language disorder that is “impacting his cognitive abilities.”
Now, Willis’ wife — Emma Heming Willis — has shared a photo of the actor, 67, on Instagram, sharing that his condition has worsened since the family first revealed his health battle — and that they now have a new diagnosis.
“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,” Emma wrote. “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.”
She went on explain that Willis’ condition has progressed to a more specific diagnosis: frontotemporal dementia (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,” she continued.
After the news spread of Willis’ recent diagnosis, love and support for Willis and his family poured in.
His three daughters — Rumer, 34, Scout, 31, and Tallulah, 29 — shared their gratitude for the love on social media.
“Feeling emotionally tired and a bit overwhelmed,” Scout wrote on her Instagram Stories, “yet also very in awe of the love so many people have for my papa.”
Her sister Tallulah Willis echoed this sentiment. “Second this Scouter,” the actress wrote while re-sharing the original announcement post, “feeling the abundant love for our guy and our family.”
Eldest daughter Rumer Willis also chimed in. “I third this Scouter and Buusk,” she wrote alongside the other two posts, using the women’s family nicknames. “Feeling so deeply grateful and in awe of the love for us and our sweet Daddio.”
The Armageddon star shares Rumer, Scout and Tallulah with his ex-wife Demi Moore. The two split in 2000. He also has two younger daughters—Mabel, 10, and Evelyn, 8—with his wife Emma. The couple wed in 2009.
Willis and his family have a long road ahead of them as they shared more of what exactly FTD is and how the disease affects the human brain. The “Ladies of Willis/Moore,” as they called themselves on Instagram, then provided further information on Bruce’s diagnosis in a full statement on The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration’s website.
“FTD is a cruel disease that many of us have never heard of and can strike anyone,” they explained.
“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. 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.”
The women also noted that spreading awareness about Willis’ battle with FTD is what he would want himself because he “believed in using his voice in the world to help others…”
“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 wrote.
Near the end of their statement, Willis’ family once again thanks those who have showed love and support for Bruce as he steps back from his career to focus on his health.
“Bruce has always found joy in life—and has helped everyone he knows to do the same,” they concluded.
“It has meant the world to see that sense of care echoed back to him and to all of us. We have been so moved by the love you have all shared for our dear husband, father, and friend during this difficult time. Your continued compassion, understanding, and respect will enable us to help Bruce live as full a life as possible.”
Wishing nothing but love to the Willis/Moore family.