Celine Dion Diagnosed With Rare Neurological Disease Called Stiff Person Syndrome

The actress announced earlier this year that she was postponing her tour due to health issues.

Celine Dion is sharing some personal news with her fans. In an emotional video posted to Instagram on Thursday, the 54-year-old entertainer reveals that she is battling Stiff Person Syndrome, a rare and incurable neurological disease.  

According to the Mayo Clinic, Stiff Person Syndrome is "a rare disorder of motor function characterized by involuntary stiffness of axial muscles and superimposed painful muscle spasms, which are often induced by startle or emotional stimuli."

"Hello everyone, I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to reach out to you, I miss you so much and I can’t wait to be on stage talking to you in person," Dion, wearing an all-black outfit, begins her message. "As you know, I’ve always been an open book and I wasn’t ready to say anything before but I’m ready now."

Taking a deep breath, the singer becomes emotional before revealing, "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. Recently I've been diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder called The Stiff Person Syndrome, which affects something like one in a million people."

The "My Heart Will Go On" singer shares that while she's finally figured out what is causing her health issues, the disorder has impacted her daily life, and how she performs on stage. 

"While we’re still learning about this rare condition, we now know this is what’s been causing all of the spasms that I've been having,” she explains. "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."

Putting more emphasis on her diagnosis and its effects, Dion cries as she explains that she will no longer be able to embark on her scheduled tour through Europe. 

"It hurts me to tell you all today that this means I won't be ready to restart my tour in Europe in February,” she shares. "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. 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."

Dion continues, "All I know is singing. 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."

The GRAMMY-winning singer ends her message by emotionally thanking her fans for all of their support.

"I want to thank you so much for your encouraging wishes of love and support on my social media," she says. "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. Thank you."

The singer's spring 2023 shows have been rescheduled to 2024 and eight of her summer 2023 shows have been canceled. 

In April, Dion shared an emotional message with her fans and followers announcing that she would have to cancel and postpone some of the dates of her tour until 2023. However, she was optimistic about getting back on the road as soon as possible. 

At the time, the entertainer admitted that figuring out her health was "going very slow, and it’s very frustrating for me. I’m getting treatment from my doctors, taking medication, but I’m still experiencing some spasms, and it’s taking a lot longer for me to recover than I had hoped." 

The superstar reiterated that she must be in "top shape" to perform and she just wasn’t there yet. "All I can say is that I’m doing my very best to get back to the level that I need to be so that I can give 100 percent at my shows ’cause that’s what you deserve," she said at the time.

In January, Dion also canceled the remaining dates of her North American tour due to a slow recovery from "severe and persistent muscle spasms."

Dion's latest news regarding her health comes on the 25th anniversary of her hit song, "My Heart Will Go On."