As Bruce Willis fights frontotemporal dementia, his wife Emma Heming Willis wants to focus on the good times.
A source told PEOPLE today that Emma “has the biggest support system,” which includes her and Willis’ daughters Mabel, 10, and Evelyn, 8, as well as Willis’s ex-wife Demi Moore and their children, Rumer, 34, Scout, 31, and Tallulah, 29. As far as Willis’s youngest daughters are concerned, Emma wants them to build “positive memories” of their dad.
“She is trying to make as many positive memories for them as she can,” the source told the outlet. “She wants them to remember Bruce as an amazing, fun dad. She wants them to have the best memories of him.”
The Willis/Moore family announced yesterday that the Sixth Sense star’s aphasia has advanced to frontotemporal dementia.
“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,” the family wrote in a joint statement posted on Instagram on Thursday. “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.”
A post shared by Emma Heming Willis (@emmahemingwillis)
The statement went on, “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). 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.”
On their website, the family posted more information about FTD and a call to action. “FTD is a cruel disease that many of us have never heard of and can strike anyone,” they wrote, adding that this is “the most common form of dementia” for people under 60. “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.”
“Bruce always believed in using his voice in the world to help others, and to raise awareness about important issues both publicly and privately,” they continued. “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 ended with a sweet note to fans. “Your continued compassion, understanding, and respect will enable us to help Bruce live as full a life as possible,” they wrote, signed: “Emma, Demi, Rumer, Scout, Tallulah, Mabel and Evelyn.”
After the announcement, Scout posted an update to her Instagram Story.
“Feeling emotionally tired and a bit overwhelmed,” she wrote. “Yet also very in awe of the love so many people have for my papa.”
Sisters Tallulah and Rumer, who is currently pregnant with her first baby, shared Scout’s photo and added their own notes. “Second this Scouter,” Tallulah wrote. “Feeling the abundant love for our guy and our family.”
Rumer added, “I third this Scouter and Buusk feeling so deeply grateful and in awe of the love for us and our sweet Daddio.”
The blended family seems incredibly supportive of each other, even spending Christmas together and taking an epic family photo. Mabel and Evelyn may not have had as many years to make memories of their amazing dad, they have three amazing older sisters, a caring mom, and an amazing friend in Moore to lift them up through the hard times ahead.
Before you go, check out these celebrities who showed off their families on the red carpet.
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