Céline Dion revealed she has been diagnosed with a rare neurological disease called Stiff Person Syndrome.
“I’ve been dealing with problems with my health for a long time, and it’s been really difficult for me to face these challenges and to talk about everything that I’ve been going through,” Céline, 54, revealed via Instagram on Thursday, December 8, adding that she “won’t be ready to restart my tour in Europe in February.”
The “My Heart Will Go On Singer” then explained she was diagnosed with the “very rare” Stiff Person Syndrome, which “affects something like one in a million people.” She continued, “While we’re still learning about this rare condition, we now know that this is what has been causing all of the spasms that I’ve been having.”
According to the Stiff Person Syndrome Foundation, the condition affects the central nervous system and specifically targets the brain and spinal cord. Those with the disease “can be disabled, wheelchair bound or bed-ridden, unable to work and care for themselves,” while symptoms include “hyper-rigidity, debilitating pain, chronic anxiety,” and muscle spasms “so violent they can dislocate joints and even break bones.”
“Unfortunately, these spasms affect every aspect of my daily life,” Céline added in her post. “Sometimes causing difficulties when I walk and not allowing me to use my vocal cords to sing the way I’m used to.”
The Canada native went on to note that she has “a great team of doctors working alongside me to help me get better,” as well as the support of her “precious children.”
Céline shares three sons – René-Charles, 21, and twins Nelson and Eddy, 11, – with her late husband, René Angélil.
Due to the condition, Céline has rescheduled her Spring 2023 concerts to 2024. Meanwhile, the eight shows she had scheduled for the summer of 2023 have been canceled.
Despite the setback, the “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” singer insisted she’s not ready to stop performing. “All I know is singing,” she explained. “It’s what I’ve done all my life. And it’s what I love to do the most.”
“I’m working hard with my sports medicine therapist every day to build back my strength and my ability to perform again,” she added. “But I have to admit, it’s been a struggle.”
Céline then addressed her fans, stating she will “miss” seeing them in the audiences at her shows. “I always give 100 percent when I do my shows, but my condition is not allowing me to give you that right now,” she said.
“For me to reach you again, I have no choice but to concentrate on my health at this moment,” the mother of three stated. “And I have hope that I’m on the road to recovery. This is my focus and I’m doing everything I can to recuperate. I want to thank you so much for your encouraging wishes of love and support on my social media. This means a lot to me.”
The video concluded with Céline encouraging her fans to “take care of yourselves.”
“I love you guys so much and I really hope I can see you again real soon,” she said through tears. “Thank you.”
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