Celine Dion: I am suffering from ‘very rare’ and incurable stiff-person syndrome
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Celine Dion: I am suffering from ‘very rare’ and incurable stiff-person syndrome

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Celine Dion has in a recent video message revealed that she is suffering from what is known as a stiff-person syndrome, a rare and incurable neurological disorder which causes muscle stiffness and spasms.

In her message she said she now has no choice but to postpone most of her European shows, originally planned to start in February 2023, until 2024. Some shows, including dates in Greece and Romania, have been cancelled altogether.

In her video massage she revealed that she was suffering spasms “that affect every aspect” of her life, making it difficult for here to walk and also preventing her from making use of her vocal chords properly.

Singer Celine Dion performs during her first Courage World Tour show on 18 September 2019 in Quebec. Pic: AP

Here message read: “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’ve been diagnosed with a very rare neurological disorder called stiff person syndrome, which effects something like one in a million people.

“While we are still learning about this rare condition we now know this is what’s 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 chords 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, 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.”

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in the US, stiff-person syndrome (SPS) is characterized by “fluctuating muscle rigidity in the trunk and limbs and a heightened sensitivity to stimuli such as noise, touch, and emotional distress, which can set off muscle spasms…

“Abnormal postures, often hunched over and stiffened, are characteristic of the disorder. People with SPS can be too disabled to walk or move, or they are afraid to leave the house because street noises, such as the sound of a horn, can trigger spasms and falls.”

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