“Feeling emotionally tired and a bit overwhelmed, yet also very in awe of the love so many people have for my papa,” the 31-year-old captioned an Instagram Story selfie on Thursday, February 16.
Sisters Tallulah Willis and Rumer Willis — who is currently pregnant with her first child — chimed in via their respective Instagram Stories. Tallulah, 29, added that she was “feeling the abundant love for our [dad],” while Rumer, 34, told fans she’s “so deeply grateful” for the public’s support in her family’s time of need.
The Die Hard actor, 67, shares his eldest daughters with ex-wife Demi Moore, to whom he was married from 1987 to 2000. The former couple has remained close over the years, with Moore, 60, joining his second wife, Emma Heming Willis, in breaking the news to fans about Bruce’s health challenges on Thursday.
“Since we announced Bruce’s diagnosis of aphasia in spring 2022, Bruce’s condition has progressed and we now have a more specific diagnosis: frontotemporal dementia (known as FTD),” read a statement from the Sixth Sense star’s inner circle via the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration (AFTD). “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.”
The message was also signed by Rumer, Scout and Tallulah, along with Bruce’s younger daughters — Mabel, 10, and Evelyn, 8 — whom he shares with Heming Willis, 44.
“As a family, we wanted to take this opportunity to thank you all for the outpouring of love and compassion for Bruce over the past ten months,” the family wrote. “Your generosity of spirit has been overwhelming, and we are tremendously grateful for it.”
The Ghost actress and her blended family went on to describe FTD as “a cruel disease” and “the most common form of dementia” for people under age 60. “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,” they explained.
According to his loved ones, “Bruce always believed in using his voice in the world to help others, and to raise awareness about important issues both publicly and privately.” Sharing his story with the world provides “a connectedness with those who are also dealing with this debilitating disease and how it impacts so many individuals and their families,” they wrote.
Despite his progressing illness, Moore, Heming Willis and their respective children assured fans that Bruce wasn’t giving up his fight. “Bruce has always found joy in life – and has helped everyone he knows to do the same,” they continued. “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.”
The Armageddon actor’s aphasia diagnosis was initially revealed in March 2022, with his family announcing that he was taking a step back from acting due to challenges with his cognitive abilities.
One month later, a source exclusively told Us Weekly that the Emmy winner felt “blessed” to have the support of his extended family, adding: “They’re all pulling together, and that’s what matters.”