Canadian pop icon Celine Dion has revealed that she has been diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder called “stiff person syndrome”, which affects one in a million people.
The autoimmune neurological condition causes severe muscle spams and the body to become stiffer over time, leading to a reduction in mobility, with some losing the ability to walk.
There is currently no cure, and treatments focus on managing the symptoms and pain.
The 54-year-old singer of “My Heart Will Go On” shared the news in an emotional five minute Instagram video on Thursday Dec. 8.
“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,” Dion, who is best-selling Canadian recording artist and the best-selling French-language artist of all time, said.
She said that the condition had been causing her to experience the severe and persistent muscle spasms that had led her to cancel some of her tour dates at the beginning of the year.
“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 I am used to,” she said.
She said that as a result of the diagnosis, she would not be able to restart her tour in Europe next February as she works with doctors and therapists to get better, build back her strength and her ability to perform again.
“I miss you so much, I miss seeing all of you, being on the stage, performing for you. 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.
She added that her focus right now was getting better and that she was doing everything in her power to recuperate.
“I love you guys so much, and I really hope I can see you again real soon,” she added.