In a sorrowful video message shared on social media, singer Celine Dion revealed that she has been diagnosed with a rare neurological condition called Stiff Person Syndrome. (Watch the video below.)
The condition, which causes stiffness and spasms in several muscles in the body, is incurable. Medical experts say it affects only about one or two people in a million. In light of the diagnosis, Dion announced she is canceling the planned resumption of her European tour in February.
“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,” she explained.
Instead of touring, Dion added, she plans to continue working on her recovery with her medical team and family. “I’m working hard with my sports medicine therapist every day to build back my strength and my ability to perform again,” she said. “But I have to admit, it’s been a struggle.”
The performer, known for hits like the Titanic soundtrack’s “My Heart Will Go On,” took many long pauses during the message, tearing up and composing herself again, her voice repeatedly breaking.
“All I know is singing,” she said. “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. … 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.”
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