• Steve Holt

    Senior Editor/Writer Twitter Profile

    Photo of Steve Holt, a white man with very short hair and a gingery beard. He has blue eyes, smiles, and wears a blue button down shirt.

    Steve Holt is a senior editor and writer responsible for print alumni magazines at the Wheelock College of Education and Human Development, School of Theology, and the Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. He came to BU in 2022 from Appalachian Mountain Club, where he was a senior editor at the nonprofit’s award-winning member magazine. For more than a decade before that, Steve built a prolific freelance journalism career, collecting bylines in numerous print and online publications, such as The Boston Globe, Boston magazine, Civil Eats, Business Insider, and Bloomberg CityLab. His Edible Boston story about sustainable hamburgers in Boston was selected for inclusion in the Best Food Writing 2011 anthology. Steve holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s in theology from Abilene Christian University. Profile

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There are 36 comments on What Will Bruce Willis’ Aphasia Diagnosis Mean for the Veteran Actor?

  1. A great article! I wonder if music is part of the therapy. I have a friend who is a gifted actor and plays the harmonica and piano and sings , has been diagnosed with Aphasia. When he encourages my daughter to play the piano like he always have done he is able to play and sing like he always has one would not know anything different. I know Bruce Willis has music talents too and wonder if his therapy involves music in any way. Music is therapeutic in general and for Aphasia patients who are musically inclined, I can see how it would be helpful.

  2. I am so very happy that bruce is still able to think properly. Slowly that there is hope for improvement. He’s not alone and he has hope. Yipee ki yay m… f…..!

  3. My sister had a severe stroke in March and we almost lost her but now she is home and she also is suffering from aphasia…she does her therapy every week and she is doing better but still has a long way to go….my family and I have watched Bruce in every movie he has been in and he is truly talented. Just keep up the good work Bruce and we are praying for you every day…God bless you and your family.

  4. At the University of Pittsburgh the McGowan center for regenerative medicine is harvesting Nuero stem cells to implant in order to allow the body to repair itself with micro foot soldiers. Somebody please talk to the Willis family and begin talking to the McGowan center.

  5. I’m saddened to learn that Bruce Willis has this condition. I feel optimistic for him ,however, based on what I just read about promising therapy at BU. That, combined with good friends, a loving family and a lot of prayers from fans , will help him recover.

  6. First saw him in moonlighting with cybil
    Shepherd , loved him then. Had a crush on him
    In fact. Even bought his records wasn’t a fan of most of his films though. Wishing a very speedy recovery ❤️‍

  7. I have watched Mr Willis ever since his Moonlighting days. I have also noticed that his last 4 movies have been so sad that I wondered out loud to family members “What is going on with Bruce?” He’s not even acting. He’s just saying words.” How sad I was to learn that what I said was so true. But the absolute saddest part was that the director, not his loving caring family stopped Mr Willis from acting. He said he couldn’t do this to Bruce anymore and refused to make any more films with him. Where was his family? Where was his family support? Hadn’t he made them enough money for them?

  8. My brother has aphasia from a stroke. I felt so helpless and terrified for him as much as he was. I could see the fear in his eyes. He knew and recognized everyone and his memory is as active as ever but not being able to talk or write meant that the medical staff, family and friends gave up on him. Not having the resources to continue with his therapy in South Africa was devastating for him and the family. It split us apart. This once enigmatic, caring and loving brother was placed in a poorly managed old age home by his daughter without his consent. My heart bleeds for my brother everyday.
    As I read Mr Bruce Willis story, I understand his silence and feeling of helplessness he may personally go through. Luckily he has the loving support to walk with him with aphasia. Never stop doing whatever it takes to help him.

  9. My father suffered from this after 3 strokes. He had trouble finding words and names, eventually became reclusive. I would talk with his wife on the phone he would listen but not speak. Didnt want me to visit..felling embarrassed from the condition. Heartbreaking. Its a all downhill, no upside from my perspective. Very sorry for Bruce’s family.

  10. I hope and pray for your recovery very soon Missed you acting in your movies and hope you can fight this disease you have,,,,love you bruce willis,,,,❣

  11. I was diagnosed with Aphasia after my 2nd stroke in 2015. It was disappointing and a struggle to be robbed of my life and identity. I couldn’t read, write nor follow simple commands. It took me 4 long years to find the strength to move forward with my new life. The emotionally and mental journey was very difficult. It’s been almost 8 years since my first stroke in 2014.
    In 2018 I found Loyola Clinical’s in Baltimore, Maryland & Columbia, Maryland that provided me with the tools and training to regain my independence. I learned to read, write, comprehend and drive again.
    Aphasia is for life but, managing life after stroke involves patience, therapy, dedication and support.
    To anyone living with Aphasia, I sympathize with you and encourage you to find the strength and resources to move forward in life.

    The aphasia no longer dictates or governed over my life

  12. Bruce Willis is a class act, and I feel strongly he will surprise everyone how soon he will recover. With the right therapy, family support , being around those who will encourage him he heal quicker than anyone thinks. My prayers go out to him and his family and may we all see Bruce filming soon OUT of retirement.

  13. My husband was diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia in 2018. It’s rare, progressive and has no cure or real treatment. He is now mute, has difficulty understanding the spoken word and has increasing difficulty reading and writing. He had personality changes a few years before the speech was affected. The decline is gradual. Dementia follows. This condition is horrible for the patient and their family. God bless Bruce and his family and I hope they can use their wealth and fame to bring attention and increased research to these degenerative brain diseases.

  14. Someone needs to write a sci fi epic script draft that is about language and communication and cognitive realms, and start filming it with Bruce as the star and collaberator and a masterpiece could very well ensue

  15. BW, I have faith. You will kick this things trash! Knowing
    your enemy is the greatest weapon of defense. Remember;
    Despair is your enemy; Never let her sleep. Keep her restless
    and running in fear.

  16. Sending prayers to Mr. Willis and his family. He is one of my favorite actors and my husband’s actor look alike, lol.

    My father had primary progressive aphasia. He did not have a stroke nor did he have a head injury. Cause was unknown with studies at Northwestern University in Chicago. Family and friends supporting him is most important now. Changes and unfamiliar visitors and events not so good. Picture books of his favorite foods, restaurants, people, etc., are very helpful. Be strong, keep the music playing and keep smiling. Changes come quick!

    Happy Holidays and may the New Year bring you peace and happiness

  17. My husband of 45 years had primary progressive aphasia. He lost language, writing and reading skills. He was later diagnosed with Frontal Temporal Dementia. His personality changed, became aggressive and eventually had to be placed in a facility. It’s heartbreaking, traumatic and shocking. Fortunately, the disease progressed quickly & his/our suffering did not linger. We donated his brain to research in hope of aiding research and cure.

  18. I wish Bruce Willis a speedy recovery and return to acting. He has great family support and great rehab at Boston University. He is a fighter and I pray he will succede. Yippee kayay ***m**f*r

  19. My husband has Primary progressive aphasia for ten years.The progressive part is accurate. He had some speech therapy in the early years, but, he refused to continue with it. At about eight years into the disease, he can no longer speak or comprehend speech.
    . He,occasionally can write a word, no reading. Watches tv, plays words with friends, and is great at gin rummy. Still driving which presents a risk as he cannot communicate.He isi still intelligent. Knows what’s going on. Showers and dresses himself. Very independent.
    This is a challenging and heartbreaking passage in our 57 years of marriage.

  20. My grandma has Parkinson’s disease, she is about 75 years old it was detected 7 years ago. Right now it’s getting more difficult to live for her, because of stiff muscles she can’t even move. L-dopa and carbidopa medicines are given, but won”t give much relief. She can”t eat food and the skin is damaging forming ganglia. I thought this might be the last stage and the medications she was given did not help at all, so I started to do alot of research on natural treatments, I was introduced to Health Natural Centre and their Parkinson’s Herbal Protocol. She started on the Parkinson’s Treatment last year, her symptoms gradually diminished including my Tremors, Body Weakness and Muscle Pains. Reach them at health natural clinic. org , She is getting active again since starting this treatment, she is able to walk again ( down the street and back ) and able to ride her treadmill again!

    1. I’m so glad to read a thoughtful, informative,& humanitarian approach to an article on Bruce Willis’ diagnosis. It must have been devastating for Mr. Willis and family and loved ones. I’m expect they are still struggling emotionally. I wish him and his loving ones every break, every prayer & all the help possible.
      As a former nurse I have some understanding of the nature of this disease. It always seemed to me that frustration was the the biggest enemy of or progress with this condition. Anger follows the frustration & that makes things more complicated momentarily. There is so much more understanding & help available with it now than there was when I first started working with people with this condition in 1967-’69, when I first started working with it.
      I will keep all of you in my prayers. And hope for the best for Mr. Willis. He’s still young enough to make some real progress like we saw with actor Kirk Douglas, father of Mike Douglas. I was always a big fan of Mr Willis Movie Career. I’ve seen all but a few of the last of franchises. Thanks for all the happy hours of entertainment!

      1. My first symptoms of ALS occurred in 2014, but was diagnosed in 2016. I had severe symptoms ranging from shortness of breath, balance problems, couldn’t walk without a walker or a power chair, i had difficulty swallowing and fatigue. I was given medications which helped but only for a short burst of time, then I decided to try alternative measures and began on ALS Formula treatment from Tree of Life Health clinic. It has made a tremendous difference for me (Visit www.healthcareherbalcentre.com I had improved walking balance, increased appetite, muscle strength, improved eyesight and others. ]

  21. It looks as though Bruce Willis has a strong support system. I can’t even imagine the frustration and resulting anger that knowing and being unable to communicate your needs, thoughts, desires and, yes, frustration.

    When your life is about communication it must be particularly difficult to understand everything going on around you and be unable to participate.

    Are there computer programs that can be used to improve communication? I’m thinking of one finger commands I’ve seen for physically challenged users.

    Love and patience are the answer, what’s the question? May the Universe send love, patience and support to those taking on the task of caretakers.

  22. My grandma has Lou Gehrig’s disease, she is about 75 years old it was diagnosed 2 years ago. Right now it’s getting more difficult to live for her, because of stiff muscles she can’t even move. Riluzole and Edaravone medicines are given, but won”t give much relief. She can”t eat food without choking. I thought this might be the last stage and the medications she was given did not help at all, so I started to do alot of research on natural treatments, I was introduced to Health Natural Centre and their ALS Herbal Protocol. She started on the ALS/MND Treatment last year, her symptoms gradually diminished including her vocal cord spasm, Body Weakness and Difficulty with swallowing. Reach them at health natural centre . org , She is getting active again since starting this treatment, she is able to walk again ( down the street and back )she have also resumed exercising to strengthen muscles!! God Bless all ALS Caregivers. Stay Strong, take small moments throughout the day to thank yourself, to love your self, and pray to whatever faith, star, spiritual force you believe in and ask for strength. I can personally vouch for these remedy but you would probably need to decide what works best for you.

  23. Bruce Willis is special, he always was and he always will be. I was in love with his talent the day I saw him in the lighting, and I knew he wouldn’t make it big and bigger on the screen and he did. May God be with you, Bruce, God knows I am with you, even though you don’t know me.♥️

  24. My first symptoms of ALS occurred in 2014, but was diagnosed in 2016. I had severe symptoms ranging from shortness of breath, balance problems, couldn’t walk without a walker or a power chair, i had difficulty swallowing and fatigue. I was given medications which helped but only for a short burst of time, then I decided to try alternative measures and began on ALS Formula treatment from Tree of Life Health clinic. It has made a tremendous difference for me (Visit w w w. healthcareherbalcentre .com I had improved walking balance, increased appetite, muscle strength, improved eyesight and others. ]

  25. I have become friends with a gentleman who has been diagnosed with aphasia and I have been helping him with his speech and he has improved a lot over the past 3 months and I’m so very proud of him ❤️

  26. ALS is a cruel disease. My mum is 83 and had great difficulty speaking and swallowing much of anything. Food was getting trapped in her throat and blocking her air way was happening more often. she battled for each breath. The riluzole did very little to help her. The medical team did even less. Her decline was rapid and devastating. The psychological support from the medical centre was non-existent and if it were not for the sensitive care and attention of our primary physician, there she would have died. There has been little if any progress in finding a cure or reliable treatment. Acupuncture eased her anxiety a bit. this year our primary physician started her on Natural Herbs Centre ALS/MND Ayurvedic treatment, 6 months into treatment she improved dramatically. It has been a complete turnaround with her speech, she no longer needs the feeding tube to feed, the treatment is a miracle. She recovered significantly

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