Celine Dion 'no longer has control of her muscles', sister reveals as singer battles 'human statue' condition

19 December 2023, 06:09

Celine Dion is battling "stiff person syndrome"
Celine Dion is battling "stiff person syndrome". Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

Celine Dion no longer has control of her muscles, her older sister Claudette has revealed.

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The beloved Canadian singer is battling "stiff person syndrome", a incurable neurological disorder where the body attacks its nerve cells.

Claudette revealed Dion hopes to be able to return to the stage - but is unsure how that will look for the 55-year-old.

"She's working hard, but she doesn't have control over her muscles. What breaks my heart is that she's always been disciplined," Claudette told 7 Jours in Canada.

"She's always worked hard. Our mother always told her, 'You're going to do it well, you're going to do it properly.'"

And she added: "It's true that in both our dreams and hers, the goal is to return to the stage. In what capacity? I don't know."

Scientists have not done much research into the condition because it is so rare, Claudette said, and nobody has been able to find a medicine that will help.

But the star's family charity Fondation Maman Dion has been bombarded with support for the My Heart Will Go On singer.

"Some people have lost hope because it's all illness that isn't well known," she said.

"If only you knew the number of phone calls the Foundation gets about Celine! People tell us they love her and they're praying for her.

"She gets so many messages, presents and blessed crucifixes."

In the past, she said Dion does not need a wheelchair and "has the joy of living", after hitting out at social media claims that she was struggling to move.

Dion announced in May that she was cancelling her world tour because of her struggles with the condition.

She had publicly revealed in December she'd been diagnosed with the disorder.

Dion announced that with "tremendous disappointment" she was unable to perform on her world tour and she's "working really hard to build back her strength".