Popular actor Bruce Willis had been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia (FTD) last month. The retired actor stepped out in Santa Monica on Thursday. FTD symptoms often arise in younger patients between the ages of 40 and 65, according to the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
During the filming sessions in which the actor was present, people present could already sense that something was not right. He had difficulty in holding conversations, coupled with not being able to connect words correctly. Recently, Willis’ wife says it is “hard to know” if the award-winning actor is aware of the frontotemporal dementia he was diagnosed with earlier this year.
His wife, Emma Heming, has seemingly taken on the role as his primary caregiver, and in new videos discussing the disease, she opened up about how much she’s struggled with it, even admitting that she’s been freaked out.
It has been noted that in honor of World FTD Awareness Week, which concluded on Sunday, Heming conducted a series of interviews that she shared on her YouTube page.
She spoke with medical professionals and fellow caregivers about this specific type of dementia, and for her final interview, she spoke with Maria Kent Beers and Rachael Martinez, two women who co-host a podcast about FTD called “Remember Me.”
It has been noted that Beers and Martinez each had a parent who suffered from this type of dementia, and for most of their conversation, Heming was content to simply ask questions and let the other women tell their stories. At one point, she did feel moved to share a bit of her own.
“You guys have been such a resource to this community,” she said, “and I know that because you have been such a resource for me. You know, when this diagnosis of FTD was brought to the table, I didn’t know where to go, what to look up…”
She continued, “You know, I’m looking things up, it’s freaking me out.”
Heming decided to see if there were any podcasts available on the topic, and while she wasn’t able to find much, she did find them.
“I am so grateful to be able to hear other people’s stories. You know, there are some that maybe I don’t connect to, but you have the sort of shared story, so you guys have been so helpful to me.”