Celine Dion has revealed she has been diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder called Stiff-Person Syndrome.
She said the disorder affects approximately one in a million people.
In a video message posted on Instagram, Dion said the disorder was causing spasms that affect her ability to walk and sing. “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. Unfortunately, the 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 I’m used to.”
Because of the impact on her ability to perform, Dion explained, she had no option but to again postpone her upcoming “Courage” tour, which was set to begin in February after being postponed three times. “I miss you so much,” she said, her voice filled with emotion and with tears in her eyes. “I miss seeing all of you, being on the stage, performing for you. I always give 100% when I do my shows, but my condition is not allowing me to give you that right now.”
According to Web MD, Stiff Person Syndrome is “a progressive neurological and autoimmune disorder that affects the brain and the spinal cord.” Symptoms include muscle rigidity or spasm which can affect one area or the entire body, enlargement of the muscles and difficulties walking or moving. There is no cure.
Earlier this year the U.K. and Europe legs of the tour were postponed for the third time, to February 2023, while the U.S. leg of the tour was cut short. At the time, Dion cited health issues but did not disclose a diagnosis.
Read Dion’s full statement below:
Hello everyone. I’m sorry it’s taking me so long to reach out to you. I miss you all so much. And I can’t wait to be on stage talking to you in person. As you know, I’ve always been an open book and I wasn’t ready to say anything before. But I’m ready now.
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.
Recently I have been diagnosed with a very rare neurological disorder called Stiff-Person Syndrome, which affects something like one in a million people. 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.
Unfortunately, the 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 I’m used to.
It hurts me to tell you today this means I won’t be ready to restart my tour in Europe in February.
I have a great team of doctors working alongside me to help me get better 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. But I have to admit it’s been a struggle. All I know is singing, it’s what I’ve done all my life and it’s what I love to do the most.
I miss you so much. I miss seeing all of you, being on the stage, performing for you. I always give 100% when I do my shows, but my condition is not allowing me to give you that right now.
For me to reach you again, I have no choice but to concentrate on my health at this moment and I have hope that I’m on the road to recovery. This is my focus and I’m doing everything that 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. Take care of yourselves. Be well. I love you guys so much. I really hope I can see you again real soon.