In a social media post filled with emotion, singer Céline Dion revealed that she had been diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder called “stiff-person syndrome.”
In two recent videos posted to Dion’s social media accounts (both in English and French), she claimed the disease prevents her “to sing the way I’m used to.”
The syndrome is incurable and it causes progressive muscle rigidity and spasms. Sufferers of this disorder eventually become disabled, bedridden or unable to care for themselves, according to The Stiff Person Syndrome Research Foundation.
The legendary star said the muscle spasms she suffers “affect every aspect of my daily life.” She tearfully informed her fans that the disorder is “sometimes causing difficulties when I walk and not allowing me to use my vocal cords to sing the way I’m used to.”
“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,” she said.
Dion was deeply saddened that her diagnosis will preclude her from launching the European leg of her tour scheduled to hold in February. Following the diagnosis, her scheduled 2023 tour was rescheduled for the following year.
The five-time Grammy award winner was hopeful she will sing again.
“All I know is singing,” she said. “It’s what I’ve done all my life. And it’s what I love to do the most.”
Dion said she is working with a sports medicine therapist to aid her to get back to optimum performance.
“I miss you so much. I miss seeing all of you,” Dion told her fans. “I always give 100 per cent when I do my shows, but my condition is not allowing me to give you that right now.”
Earlier this year, Dion postponed her world tour due to “severe and persistent muscle spasms.”
Details about her rescheduled tour can be found on her website. The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCAT) reported there are fewer than 5,000 known cases of stiff-person syndrome in the U.S.
The symptoms of the disorder can begin at any point in a patient’s life, though it is most commonly noticed in adulthood.
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