Iconic singer Celine Dion revealed Thursday that she is suffering from an incredibly rare disease that prevents her from currently performing.
The singer, who shot to international stardom after her duet with Peabo Bryson for “Beauty and the Beast” in 1991, stated she has been diagnosed with stiff-person syndrome (SPS), a progressive disease that leaves its victims as “human statues” who cannot walk or talk, according to the Daily Mail.
SPS currently has no cure, although treatments can slow its progression. Last spring, Dion canceled the North American dates of her Courage World Tour, three months after she canceled her Las Vegas comeback.
“Hello, everyone,” Dion said softly. “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 I’m ready now.”
She then revealed ongoing health problems, including the rare neurological disorder.
“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,” she said. “Recently I’ve been diagnosed with a very rare neurological disorder called the stiff-person syndrome which affects one in a million people.”
She said that the condition had caused spasms that made it difficult to sing.
“While we’re still learning about this rare condition, we now know this is what’s been causing all of the spasms I’ve been having,” she acknowledged. “Unfortunately, these spasms affect every aspect of my daily life sometimes causing difficulties when I walk and not allowing me to use my vocal chords to sing the way I’m used to.”
Tearing up, Dion, who has three sons from her marriage to her late husband René Angélil, said her family was giving her hope.
“It hurts me to tell you today that this means I won’t be ready to restart my tour in Europe in February. 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,” 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.”
“All I know is singing,” said Dion, who became a singing sensation in Canada barely in her teens. “It’s what I’ve done all my life and it’s 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 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. This is my focus and I’m doing everything that 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,” she concluded.
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