Laurie Hernandez Opens Up About Grandmother's Battle With Alzheimer's Disease

Laurie Hernandez Opens Up About Grandmother's Battle With Alzheimer's Disease

One of the most shocking moments on Dancing With The Stars wasn’t about anyone getting voted off, but when we all learned that Laurie Hernandez‘ grandmother had passed away and she had been kept in the dark about it during season 23.

The Olympic gymnast is starting to open up more about her grandmother, Brunilda, who was battling Alzheimer’s, for Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month.

“When I did find out I got to fly home for the week. So the day after she had passed, I got to come home,” Laurie shared in a new interview. “I didn’t know yet. Nobody had told me, but when I came home my dad sat me down with everybody and told me the news.”

Her grandmother’s death definitely hit Laurie hard, but sometimes, when it’s such a tough thing to learn, you can’t find any emotions.

“I didn’t cry at first. I don’t think it hit me, really, just because I had been traveling so much I’d gotten used to not seeing her as much,” she shared. “So when they told me, I was in shock, I guess. And then a few days later, it hit me and of course it hit when the cameras were on, so that was definitely really hard.”

DWTS was aware of her grandmother’s death and did everything they could to make Laurie feel loved.

“The producers and cast and everybody were really sweet. They had written a card sending all their prayers and there was a lot of support from everyone, so that made it a lot better.”

Click inside to learn how the disease affected Laurie’s relationship with her grandmother…

Laurie revealed that Alzheimer’s did affect their relationship — it made them even closer.

“She started getting sick in mid-2016. I was doing a lot of competitions throughout the year and I wasn’t home as much as I usually am,” Laurie says. “We’d hoped she would get better soon but we did see her spiral downward throughout the year. She had stomach cancer as well as Alzheimer’s and the two hit pretty quickly.”

She adds, “Through the Olympics, I could feel that she was watching, and when I came back, the people who had worked with her created a little book for her of all the meets that I did with pictures and descriptions — that way she could go through it. That was really comforting to know that she saw what I did and that she was hopefully proud of it.”

We know she would be!

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Photos: WENN
Posted to: Laurie Hernandez