Pop icon Celine Dion revealed that she will be cancelling her upcoming shows after being diagnosed with an incurable neurological disorder that turns people into “human statues.”
The “My Heart Will Go On” legend broke the heartrending news in a teary-eyed Instagram video Thursday.
“As you know I’ve always been an open book and I wasn’t ready to say anything before but i’m ready now,” the 54-year-old Grammy-winner said in the devastating clip. “I’ve been dealing with problems with my health for a long time and it’s been really difficult for me to face my challenges and to talk about everything that I’ve been going through.”
Dion then revealed that she’d been diagnosed with a “a very rare neurological disorder called the stiff person syndrome which affects 1 in a million people.”
What is Stiff Person Syndrome?
According to RareDiseases.org, Stiff Person Syndrome is a “rare acquired neurological disorder characterized by progressive muscle stiffness (rigidity) and repeated episodes of painful muscle spasms.”
It explained that if left untreated, SPS symptoms can progress to the point that it significantly impairs the sufferer’s ability to walk and perform routine, daily tasks.
“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,” the singer explained. “Unfortunately, these spasms affect every aspect of my daily life, sometimes causing difficulties when I walk and not allowing me to use my vocal cords to sing the way I’m used to.”
As a result of her condition, Dion was forced to reschedule her European tour for February, per the post. The Canadian vocal artist also cancelled eight of her summer shows scheduled for 2023 and postponed Spring 2023 until 2024.
Shows stalled during treatment for symptoms
The beloved Canuck crooner revealed that she is currently undergoing treatment for her SPS symptoms.
“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,” she said. “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.”
“I miss you so much. I miss seeing all of you being on the stage performing for you,” Dion said. “I always give 100 percent when I do my show but my condition is not allowing me to give you that right now.”
She added, “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.”
The bombshell announcement comes after songstress revealed in October 2021 that she had to delay her Las Vegas residency due to “severe” muscle spasms.
Months later, Dion canceled her North American tour and postponed her European tour.