Céline Dion has revealed that she is living with a rare neurological disorder called stiff person syndrome (SPS).
In an emotional video posted to Instagram on 8 December, the singer told fans: “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… We now know [SPS] is what’s been causing all of the spasms that I’ve been having.”
Céline continued to explain that the spams have impacted “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.”
“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,” she added.
“I’m working hard with my support 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.”
In order to “concentrate on my health on this moment,” the star has rescheduled her European tour, which was set to begin in spring 2023. “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.”
SPS, which “affects around one in a million people”, is caused by the body’s immune system attacking itself.
Louise Fish, CEO of Genetic Alliance UK, said: “Diagnosis for some rare conditions takes too long: more than a third of people with a rare condition have to wait more than five years from first noticing symptoms to getting a diagnosis.
“This can be a challenging, sometimes lonely experience, and we know some people’s account of their conditions can be doubted by healthcare professionals.”
Fish said the singer opening up about her diagnosis will “play a vital role in helping people to live well with their condition”.
“A personal story like this one will hopefully enable more people to reach out and offer support to one another,” she said. “Charities supporting people with rare conditions can often play a vital role in making these connections.”
Céline’s news was met with support from stars such as Gwen Stefani, Kate Hudson, Jennifer Garner, Jonathan Van Ness, Brooke Lynn Hytes, Kristen Chenoweth, Jennifer Hudson and Courtney Act.
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