One person’s aphasia announcement can open the door for another person to add their voice to the conversation. This happened recently after Bruce Willis’s family made a general announcement about his aphasia. Sigourney Weaver helped Tony-award-winning playwright, Christopher Durang, announce his own diagnosis, this time providing details such as the type of aphasia, how it has impacted his work, and what is happening now.
Giving the Details
The announcement in Broadway News pointed back to Bruce Willis’s announcement as the door Durang’s family and friends used to make his own announcement.
Durang suffers from logopenic primary progressive aphasia (PPA), a disorder of language, which has curbed the prolific author’s career. Because of the rarity of this illness, Durang and his family have struggled with how to convey his condition and limitations, but they want Durang’s fans and the public at large to better understand his circumstances and the disease itself.
By naming the specific disorder and variant, they were able to give more details on how symptoms emerged and how he has handled treatment over the years. We encourage you to read this very well-written announcement by Broadway News.
The Power of Details
By providing a clear and concise explanation of logopenic primary progressive aphasia, Durang, with his friends and family, have moved the conversation forward, helping the general public understand not only PPA but how PPA differs from other forms of aphasia. While Willis’s coverage lumped all forms of aphasia together, aphasia is a complex condition, and every occurrence is unique.
The announcement even distinguished the three types of PPA: “Each of the three variants of PPA (logopenic, semantic and nonfluent-agrammatic) has a different biological cause, which not only results in different symptoms but also requires different treatment.” As we try to educate the general public about aphasia, this type of coverage is priceless in helping people better understand the condition and how they can support someone with aphasia.
We are sending good thoughts to Christopher Durang and gratitude for sharing his story — as well as all of his plays — with the world.