Celine Dion has shared that she has a rare neurological disorder called stiff-person syndrome in an emotional video she posted to Instagram on Thursday.
The singer revealed that she had been dealing with health issues for “a long time” and that she was recently diagnosed.
“While we’re still learning about this rare condition, we now know this is what’s been causing all of the spasms that I’ve been having,” she said in the clip, appearing to fight back tears. “Unfortunately, these spasms affect every aspect of my daily life — sometimes causing difficulties when I walk, and not allowing me to use my vocal cords to sing the way that I’m used to.”
Dion said her condition has caused her to postpone the spring 2023 shows in the European leg of her world tour to 2024, and cancel eight of her summer shows from May to July. Some of the spring 2023 dates had previously been postponed due to her health concerns.
“I have a great team of doctors working alongside me to help me get better,” she said in the video. “And my precious children, who are supporting me and giving me hope.”
“I’m working hard with my sports medicine therapist every day to build back my strength and my ability to perform again,” she continued. “But I have to admit, it’s been a struggle.”
Dion added that singing is what she loves “to do the most,” but that she is concentrating on her health.
“I have hope that I’m on the road to recovery,” she later said.
Stiff-person syndrome, or SPS, is “characterized by fluctuating muscle rigidity in the trunk and limbs and a heightened sensitivity to stimuli such as noise, touch, and emotional distress, which can set off muscle spasms,” according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
The Cleveland Clinic says the syndrome, which has features of an autoimmune disease, can limit one’s ability to walk or move in severe cases. About 1 in 1 million people are diagnosed with the syndrome, according to the medical center.
In October 2021, Dion had delayed the opening of her Las Vegas show at the Resorts World Theatre, which was scheduled from Nov. 5 to Nov. 20, 2021, and Jan. 19 to Feb. 5, 2022. She said the postponement was due to “severe and persistent muscle spasms.”
Then in January, the beloved singer canceled the remaining shows of the North American leg of her “Courage World Tour,” which had already been postponed to begin in March 2022 due to COVID-19-related restrictions.
Dion said in an announcement at the time that she was still dealing with muscle spasms and that she was following the “regimen that my doctors are prescribing.”
The singer said in her Thursday announcement that her tour dates set from August to October remain as scheduled.
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