Celine Dion tearfully reveals she has incurable 'Stiff Person Disease', brain condition that turns people into 'human statues'

8 December 2022, 11:50 | Updated: 8 December 2022, 15:37

Celine Dion is suffering from a rare brain condition
Celine Dion is suffering from a rare brain condition. Picture: Instagram/Getty

By Kit Heren

Celine Dion has revealed she has 'Stiff Person Disease', a brain condition affecting one in a million people that turns sufferers into 'human statues'.

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The bodies of people with the neurological disease slowly lock up as their muscles tense up uncontrollably, leaving them unable to walk and talk.

There is no cure for Stiff Person Syndrome, although sufferers can minimise the progression of the disease.

Ms Dion, 54, announced the news on Instagram on Thursday, cancelling her European tour next year.

The 'Power of Love' singer said she was doing all she could to stay healthy for as long as possible.

Celine Dion announces diagnosis with incurable neurological disorder

Ms Dion said: "Hello everyone, I'm sorry it's taken me so long to reach out to you. I miss you all so much and can’t wait to be on stage talking to you in person.

"As you know I’ve always been an open book and I wasn’t ready to say anything before but im 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…It hurts me to tell you that I won’t be ready to restart my tour in Europe in February.

Celine Dion performs on the opening night of a 2019 world tour
Celine Dion performs on the opening night of a 2019 world tour. Picture: Getty

"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.

"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'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.

Celine Dion has been suffering from ill health for about a year
Celine Dion has been suffering from ill health for about a year. Picture: Getty

"All I know is singing it’s what I’ve done all my life and its 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 percent when I do my show but my condition is now 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 im on the road to recovery.

"This is my focus and I'm doing everything I can to recuperate.I want to thank you so much for your wishes and love and support on my social media. This means a lot to me.

"Take care of yourselves. Be well. I love you guys so much and I really hope I can see you again real soon."

Celine Dion
Celine Dion. Picture: Getty

Fans were unanimous in their support for the Candadian songstress, who is one of the best-selling musical artists of all time.

One said: "Please take care of yourself Celine. Another wrote: "We send so much love for you right now! Stay strong and take care of yourself!" A third added: "Take care, hope you get better soon."

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Ms Dion's health problems have been apparent for more than a year, when she cancelled North American tour dates in March and April. She also had to cancel her Las Vegas residency.

A statement on the singer's website said that Ms 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. 

Celine Dion in New York
Celine Dion in New York. Picture: Getty

"Her medical team continues to evaluate and treat the condition."

Ms Dion added: 'I was really hoping that I’d be good to go by now, but I suppose I just have to be more patient and follow the regimen that my doctors are prescribing.

"There's a lot of organizing and preparation that goes into our shows, and so we have to make decisions today which will affect the plans two months down the road. I’ll be so glad to get back to full health, as well as all of us getting past this pandemic, and I can’t wait to be back on stage again.

"Meanwhile, I’ve been very touched by all the words of encouragement that everyone’s been sending to me on social media. I feel your love and support and it means the world to me."

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