Céline Dion revealed Thursday that she has been diagnosed with stiff person syndrome, a rare and incurable neurological disease that can cause muscle spasms.
In an emotional video posted on her Instagram account in English and French, the Canadian singer announces that her state of health forces her to postpone and cancel a series of concerts,” according to ‘People’.
“I have been dealing with health problems for a long time and it has been very difficult for me to face these challenges and talk about everything I have been going through,” the 54-year-old interpreter wrote, adding: “It pains me to announce that I will not I’ll be ready to restart my tour in Europe in February.”
“I was recently diagnosed with a very rare neurological disease called Stiff Person Syndrome, which affects approximately one in a million people,” he explains in his video. “While we’re still learning about this rare ailment, we now know that it’s what’s causing the spasms I’ve had for so long.”
The Stiff Person Syndrome Foundation points out that this condition affects the central nervous system, specifically the brain and spinal cord. “Patients may be disabled, in a wheelchair or bedridden, unable to work and care for themselves,” they argue, adding that neurological disease with autoimmune features can include symptoms such as “hyperrigidity, debilitating pain, chronic anxiety” and muscle spasms “so violent that they can dislocate joints and even break bones.”
“Unfortunately, these spasms affect every aspect of my daily life,” Dion continues. “Sometimes it causes difficulties when I walk and doesn’t allow me to use my vocal cords to sing the way I’m used to.”
The interpreter, who is the mother of three children: René-Charles, 21, and the twins Nelson and Eddy, 11, with her late husband René Angélil, acknowledges that she has “a great team of doctors working by my side to help me recover.” “And my precious children who support me and give me hope,” she notes.
For the time being, the ‘Dion’s Spring 2023’ tour has been rescheduled for 2024, while eight of her concerts planned for next summer, previously scheduled from May 31 to July 17, 2023, have been cancelled.
However, the five-time Grammy winner says she’s not giving up. “All I know is singing,” she says. “It’s what I’ve done all my life. And it’s what I like to do the most,” she emphasizes.
“I’m working hard with my sports medicine therapist every day to get my strength back and my ability to perform again,” he says, but admits: “I have to admit it’s been a struggle.”
In closing, the ‘My Heart Will Go On’ singer gets emotional as she expresses her love for her fans. “I miss you guys so much. I miss seeing you all. Being on stage. Performing for you. I always give 100 percent when I do my shows, but my health doesn’t allow me to give it to you right now.”
“To contact them again, I have no choice but to focus on my health,” he says of the difficult situation he is going through. “And I am hopeful that I am on the road to recovery. This is my focus and I am doing everything I can to recover. I want to thank you very much for your encouraging wishes of love and support on my social media. This means a lot to me,” she reveals and says goodbye in tears: “Take care. Be well. I love you very much and I really hope to see you again very soon. Thank you” she concludes.