Céline Dion shares she's battling "stiff person syndrome," a rare neurological disorder (VIDEO)
Canadian living legend Céline Dion has shared with her fans that she’s struggling with a very rare neurological disorder called “stiff person syndrome.”
The 54-year-old singer revealed her health struggles and diagnosis in a vulnerable video posted early Thursday morning.
Dion’s daily life has been impacted by spasms caused by stiff person syndrome, causing difficulties when she walks and not allowing her to use her vocal cords to sing how she used to.
“It hurts me to tell you today [that] this means I won’t be ready to restart my tour in Europe in February,” the priestess of pop told followers.
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The Quebec native has rescheduled the tour multiple times due to health reasons, with the last postponement being announced back in April, and another cancellation earlier in January. At the time, all we knew was that Dion was experiencing muscle spasms.
“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, from working hard with my support medicine therapist every day to build back my strength and my ability to perform again,” Dion said in the sombre Instagram update, pausing to contain her tears several times.
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She added that in order to give her 100% at her shows, she has no choice but to concentrate on her health at the moment.
“This is my focus and I’m doing everything that I can to recuperate.” I want to thank you so much for your encouraging wishes of 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.”
An outpouring of love and support can be seen in the comments of the video from fans and celebrities alike. Many say they’re praying for the star, and will wait for her to heal no matter how long her recovery is.
“We love you, Céline Dion! You are the soundtrack to our love stories!” wrote Jamaican artist Tamoj.
What is stiff person syndrome?
According to John Hopkins Medicine, stiff person syndrome, also known as SPS, affects only about one or two per million people.
“SPS causes progressive muscle stiffness and painful spasms that can be triggered by a variety of things including sudden movement, cold temperature, or unexpected loud noises,” reads their description of the disease.
“Being diagnosed with this very rare condition can leave patients and families with many questions and few answers.”
The neurological disorder is still a bit of a mystery to medical experts. Its diagnosis involves antibody tests, MRIs of the brain and spine, mammograms, and neurophysiological studies of the patient, among other things.
The American National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke states that most individuals with SPS have frequent falls because they lack normal defensive reflexes, and injuries can be severe.
Though symptoms can be managed with medication and therapy, SPS is incurable.