Emma Heming Willis Reflects on What Tony Bennett Taught Her About Alzheimer's Disease

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The legendary singer, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease in 2016, died at the age of 96 on Friday

<p>Larry Busacca/Getty</p>

Larry Busacca/Getty

Emma Heming Willis learned an essential lesson from Tony Bennett about Alzheimer's Disease, that an artist could "continue to flourish" in the face of "cognitive challenges."

After the legendary singer died at the age of 96 on Friday, the model and wife of Bruce Willis reflected on what she will remember most about their friendship.

"An evening spent with Tony and Susan was the best NY date night one could ever ask for," she shared next to photos of her and her husband, 68, with Bennett and his wife, Susan Benedetto, on Instagram. Heming Willis, 45, added that Bennett had a "kind, graceful, and gentle demeanor" and his talent inspired "awe and admiration."

Related: Tony Bennett, Legendary Pop and Jazz Singer, Dead at 96

She reflected on how Bennett's 2016 Alzheimer's disease diagnosis impacted his career, noting that "he continued to dazzle and elicit nothing but joy and excitement."

"It was a beautiful reminder that we should never allow society to dictate or dismiss anyone because of their cognitive challenges but instead to continue to flourish," Heming Willis added, sharing that it is something that "has and will forever be so meaningful and impactful to me."

<p>Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty </p>

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty

Heming Willis' husband was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia in February. While FTD is often confused with Alzheimer's Disease, FTD is an all-encompassing term for a group of brain disorders that threatens the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain.

Related: How Bruce Willis&#39; Diagnosis of Frontotemporal Dementia Differs from Alzheimer&#39;s Disease

Since the Die Hard star's diagnosis, Heming Willis has dedicated her time to raising awareness about brain health.

"I am going to turn my grief and my anger and my sadness and do something good around something that feels less than," she shared in a video posted to her Instagram page in March. "So, watch this space because I didn't come to play."

<p>Jamie McCarthy/Getty</p>

Jamie McCarthy/Getty

After creating a supplement brand that focuses on brain health in women's wellness routines in May, she told PEOPLE that it has become her "new purpose."

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"I'm able to call an expert and speak to some of the most incredible doctors. So I guess I have a new purpose, and I'm so excited that I'm able to share what I'm learning with everyone," she said. "It's like a fire's been lit. It's my new purpose, and here I am. I hate that it's me. I wish it wasn't, but you know what? I'm not going to be quiet. I am going to use my voice and through action, awareness, and conversation, that creates change."

Bennett's rep told PEOPLE the "I Let My Heart in San Francisco" singer died early Friday. "The beloved singer, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease in 2016, is survived by his wife, Susan Benedetto, his two sons, Danny and Dae Bennett, his daughters Johanna Bennett and Antonia Bennett and 9 grandchildren," his rep said.

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Read the original article on People.