The discovery of Bruce Willis' frontotemporal dementia first "freaked her out," according to his wife

In recent months, Bruce Willis' wife Emma Heming Willis has been promoting frontotemporal dementia (FTD) awareness by discussing their family's experience with the illness.

Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) studies originally "freaked [her] out," according to Bruce Willis' wife Emma Heming Willis, but she later described a podcast as a "lifeline."

She spoke about seeking support from podcasts amid the diagnosis in a discussion hosted to mark World FTD Awareness Week recently
She spoke about seeking support from podcasts amid the diagnosis in a discussion hosted to mark World FTD Awareness Week recently.

Bruce, now 68, received word earlier this year that he had been identified with FTD, a kind of dementia. In the months after his family first revealed the situation, his 45-year-old wife Emma has been increasing awareness of the issue.

Her activities have included supporting the September 24–October 1 World FTD Awareness Week. Emma observed the event by having several conversations about the issue on social media with various people.

Emma had a conversation with both Rachael Martinez and Maria Kent Beers. They started a podcast called Remember Me that tells FTD tales "with a focus on remembering individuals for who they were before the disease."

Rachael stated that Maria didn't have access to resources like their podcast when she needed help since she, like Maria, had experience caring for a parent with FTD. "We want to be that for people who need it," she added throughout the conversation.

Emma Heming Willis (left) has been raising awareness around frontotemporal dementia following the news that her husband Bruce Willis (right) had been diagnosed with it.

Emma said, "You guys have been such a resource to this community and I know that because you have been such a resource for me." She continued by talking about how, after Bruce's diagnosis, she came across the podcast.

Since 2009, Emma and retired actor Bruce have been married. Emma stated: "When this diagnosis of sort of FTD was brought up, you know, I didn't know where to go or what to look up. I'm researching stuff because it scares me.

I was actually sort of listening to a lot of podcasts at the time, she said. Let me simply enter frontotemporal dementia into the podcast area and see what comes up, I thought to myself. And you folks appeared, but not a lot.

"I just started listening to your podcasts and I just felt like, 'Oh my gosh like I am so grateful to be able to hear other people's stories,'" the listener said. There are certain people that I may not relate to, yet you have a common experience.

"You guys have been so helpful to me, so I want to say thank you," Emma said in an effort to show her appreciation. I'm amazed I'm not sobbing since, normally, when I think about those who have served as my lifeline, I start to cry.

Bruce Willis' wife admits his frontotemporal dementia diagnosis 'freaked her out' initially
Bruce Willis' wife admits his frontotemporal dementia diagnosis 'freaked her out' initially.

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