Céline Dion Shares Incurable Diagnosis, Postpones Concert Dates

International superstar Céline Dion has announced that she's been diagnosed with Stiff-Person Syndrome, a rare and incurable neurological disease that can cause debilitating muscle spasms.
International superstar Céline Dion (image via Depositphotos)

International superstar Céline Dion has announced that she’s been diagnosed with Stiff-Person Syndrome, a rare and incurable neurological disease that can cause debilitating muscle spasms.

“Hello everyone, I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to reach out to you, I miss you all so much and I can’t wait to be on stage talking to you in person,” began the Grammy Award winner in a video message posted on Instagram. “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,” Dion continued, becoming emotional.

“Recently, I’ve been diagnosed with a very rare neurological condition called Stiff-Person Syndrome, which affects something like one in a million people,” Dion explained. “While we’re still learning about this rare condition, we now know that this is what has been causing all of the spasms that I’ve been having.”

“Unfortunately, these spasms affect every aspect of my daily life,” the singer shared. “Sometimes causing difficulties when I walk and not allowing me to use my vocal cords to sing the way I’m used to.”

Due to her diagnosis, the singer said she “won’t be ready to restart my tour in Europe in February.”

“All I know is singing, it’s what I’ve done all my life, and it’s what I love to do the most,” she said. “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 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.”

“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.”

Stiff-Person Syndrome, or SPS, is a neurological and autoimmune disorder that causes muscles to stiffen progressively, causing deeply painful spasms. In more extreme forms, it can prevent people from walking or going about their day-to-day lives.

Experts don’t know what causes SPS but loud noises or emotional distress can reportedly trigger the spasms, sometimes resulting in people with SPS falling and injuring themselves.

Related: Céline Dion Postpones Return To Las Vegas Stage Due To ‘Unforeseen Medical Symptoms’

According to the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), some diagnosed with the affliction find themselves “afraid to leave the house.”

The disease affects women at twice the rate of men, and is most often diagnosed among middle-aged people.

While not curable, experts say symptoms can be managed to some degree through medication.

One of the best-selling musicians of all time, Dion has won five Grammys. A shortlist of her hits include “The Power of Love,” “Because You Loved Me,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now,” “That’s the Way it Is,” and “My Heart Will Go On” – the iconic theme from the mega-hit film, Titanic.

Sending best thoughts to Céline Dion and her family.