Celine Dion announced to her followers in a video that she has been diagnosed with an incurable neurological illness while fighting back tears.
Speaking out on Instagram, the 54-year-old Canadian native said, “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 talk about everything that I’ve been going through.”
Dion then revealed she had been diagnosed with Stiff Person Syndrome (SPS). She further explained “affects something like one in a million people.”
SPS is defined by the Cleveland Clinic as “a rare autoimmune movement disorder that affects the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord). People with this condition first experience a stiffening of the muscles of their trunk. It’s followed, over time, by the development of stiffness and rigidity in the legs and other muscles in the body.”
Dion detailed the specific problems she has been having – including mobility issues.
“While we’re still learning about this rare condition, we now know this is what has been causing all of 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’m used to.”
The mother of three shared one pre-taped video in English and one in French. She explained to fans that she will be focusing on her health; and will therefore have to postpone the European leg of her tour.
“It hurts me to tell you, today, that 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 get better and my precious children, who are supporting me and giving me hope.
“I’m working hard with my sports 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 and 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. 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… Take care of yourselves – be well. I love you guys so much. And I really hope I can see you again, really soon. Thank you.”