Celine Dion has been diagnosed with a rare incurable neurological condition that has forced her to cancel all her concerts and tours. Dion made the emotional announcement for the first time concerning her health in a new video message shared on social media, revealing for the first time that she has been diagnosed with Stiff Person Syndrome (SPS).
The rare one-in-a-million Stiff Person Syndrome causes muscles to tense uncontrollably. Patients eventually become "human statues" as the illness gradually locks their bodies into stiff positions, rendering them unable to move or speak. It is quite possible that the iconic singer might never be able to perform again.
Our Heart Will Go On
The "My Heart Will Go On" singer revealed on Thursday in an emotional video message shared to her Instagram page that she has Stiff Person Syndrome, which she claims impacts "all aspects of my daily life."
"As you know I've always been an open book and I wasn't ready to say anything before but I am ready now," Dion began the message addressing the camera directly.
"I've been dealing with problems with my health for a long time and it's been really difficult for me to face my challenges and to talk about everything that I've been going through."
"Recently I've been diagnosed with a very rare neurological disorder called the stiff person syndrome which affects 1 in a million people While we're still learning about this rare condition, we now know this is what's been causing all the spasms I've been having."
"'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 the impact of the rare condition on her.
The condition has forced her to cancel all eight of her summer shows scheduled for 2023 and rescheduled her Spring 2023 shows to 2024.
"It hurts me to tell you today that this means I won't be ready to restart my tour in Europe in February," she said.
However, the 'My heart will go on' singer said that she is trying her best to deal with the condition and working with doctors. '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 help.
"I want to thank you so much for your wishes and love and support on my social media. This means a lot to me."
Rarest of the Rare
Although Dion is rescheduling her tour dates, it is unlikely that she will ever be able to perform as her muscles over time will only stiffen leaving her paralyzed and wheelchair-bound. The entire body of the patients generally become cripple before their the heart muscles stiffen and stop working.
The announcement comes three months after Dion had to postpone the beginning of her Las Vegas comeback residency due to the same health issue.
Dion's wildly popular residency in Las Vegas has earned her the title "Queen Of Las Vegas."
She was forced to return to Sin City in 2019 after retiring from her illustrious Caesars Palace engagement to perform at the brand-new Resorts World on the Strip.
A statement on her website said that Dion "recently has been treated for severe and persistent muscle spasms which are preventing her from performing, and her recovery is taking longer than she hoped. Her medical team continues to evaluate and treat the condition."
It's the most recent tragedy to affect Dion, who lost her husband Rene Angelil in 2016 at the age of 73. Dion has three boys from her deceased spouse -- Rene-Charles, 21, and the identical twins Nelson and Eddy, 12.
When she first met Rene, he was already 38 years old and Dion was a 12-year-old vocalist. He took over as her boss. Rene reportedly mortgaged his house out of a commitment to supporting her career in order to pay for her 1981 first album La Voix du bien Dieu.
In 1987, when Dion was only 19 and Rene was 45, they started dating formally and in 1991, they got engaged. However, Dion didn't make their relationship public until 1993, when she slipped the news into the liner notes of her album The Colour Of My Love.
The two got married in Montreal's Notre-Dame Basilica in December 1994. Rene's funeral and Rene-Charles' christening took place there as well.
In January 2016, Rene, who was 73 and had terminal throat cancer, died following a heart attack. Dion lost her brother Daniel to throat cancer two days later.