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“The Last of Us”: Frank’s disease that has no cure in real life

While in “The Last of Us” everyone succumbed to the Cordyceps fungus, Bill, a man prepared for an eventual apocalypse, survived and even found the love of his life in Frank.

When the infection spread in 2013, the government tried to save some people in the quarantine zones, but Bill never trusted the government or the people, so he stayed alone and fortified his way.

Bill managed to build a safe space with all the amenities to avoid the end of the world. A few years later, she met Frank, a hungry man who taught her to love and became her life partner.

So the third episode of ‘The Last of Us’ shows the life of this couple during the 20 years of the Cordyceps fungus pandemic (which exists in real life) and how they have survived by supporting and caring for each other.

However, even though they are safe from the infected, marauders, animals and bad weather, there are still things they cannot control, such as Frank’s degenerative disease.

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“The Last of Us”: Frank’s incurable disease

The relationship between Bill and Frank is much more extensive in the series than in the original video game, where it is only implied that they were a couple, but by the time Joel and Ellie arrive at his house, Frank has left Bill .

In the series, Bill is a few years older than Frank, plus he doesn’t keep himself in such good physical shape, so it seems that in his old age Frank will be the one taking care of Bill.

Turns out it’s the other way around. When the series ends at two in 2023, Frank is suffering from a degenerative disease that leaves him confined to a wheelchair, restricting his movement and causing terror.

Frank decides it’s time to die and decides to spend one last day with Frank, in which they get married and have a dinner like the first time they met, then drink drugged wine and die.

But while in the series Frank only says that there was no cure for his illness even before the revelation, it doesn’t specify what the character’s condition is.

Although many have argued that his symptoms, such as insomnia, muscle spasms and slow movement, are those of Parkinson’s disease, Frank actually suffers from Multiple Sclerosis, which is incurable.

This was confirmed by series co-creator Craig Mazin on the official podcast of ‘The Last of Us’ on January 29, where he commented that they did not mention the disease to the public on purpose, but that it affects the central nervous system.

“We didn’t necessarily want to define it (the disease) for the public, it’s early multiple sclerosis (Multiple Sclerosis) or ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), but it’s a degenerative neuromuscular disorder.”

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic neurological disease that usually occurs between the ages of 20 and 40, develops in the central nervous system, and causes symptoms such as brittle limbs, tingling, unsteadiness, fatigue, among others.

But, instead of focusing on the disease specifically, the creators decided to have Frank have this condition to show something rarely seen in apocalypse stories, which is the effects of aging.

“This happens, it happens so often and yet so rarely. As people age on screen, they tend to be perfectly healthy until a heart attack causes them to fade out of nowhere. That happens, but for most people there is a worsening.”

Furthermore, the illness is a fundamental part of Bill and Frank’s relationship, as it shows Bill’s growth, Frank’s care because it is the most precious thing he has and the only thing worth living for.

“Flash forward several years and it’s Frank who has this disease and there’s nothing they can do about it. But you can see how Bill does everything he can to take care of Frank the way Frank would take care of Bill.”

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Source: univision

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