Bruce Willis is one of the longest-tenured action stars in Hollywood. From Die Hard to The Expendables, Willis has been a staple in big budget movies since the 1980s. That legendary career is now stepping back due to Aphasia. According to organizations that promote the cause, Bruce Willis is teaching the world about aphasia by starting a conversation that didn’t exist previously.
According to Darlene Williamson, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors, the National Aphasia Association received an unanticipated 30,000 hits on their website within one hour after the Willis family shared the news on Instagram. The National Aphasia Association’s mission is to help people with aphasia feel accepted in their communities.
Bruce’s family’s declaration is helping to reduce the stigma associated with the disease. Since Bruce’s diagnosis, Darlene said they’ve received several little donations, some of which came with personal letters in Bruce’s honor. One of the worst things people with aphasia can do, according to Justine Knight, Executive Director of Triangle Aphasia Project Unlimited, is to remain alone.
Many are opening up about their difficulties after witnessing a celebrity in the same situation they are in. According to Justine, they’ve noticed an increase in traffic online as well, with their Facebook page now reaching over 4,000 people each day, up from less than 100 before Bruce’s revelation surfaced.
The usage of the word “aphasia” had a huge role in raising awareness, according to both organizations. The Willis family could’ve been ambiguous when explaining his disease, but stepping out and expressing exactly what he has is making people in similar situations feel accepted.
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