Celine Dion, who won the Eurovision Song Contest 1988 for Switzerland with the song: “Ne partez pas sans moi” (“Don’t Leave Without Me”), has revealed that she is suffering from stiff-person syndrome, a rare and incurable neurological disorder which causes muscle stiffness and spasms.
The Canadian singer gave details of her health condition in a video message to her fans, stating she is suffering spasms “that affect every aspect” of her life, causing difficulty when she walks and preventing her from using her vocal chords properly.
The singer said that she has to postpone most of her European shows, which were originally planned to start in February 2023 and finish in 2024 and that some of these shows have to be cancelled.
Dion finished her video by saying: “This is my focus and I’m doing everything that I can to recuperate. 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. Thank you.”
What is stiff-person syndrome?
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke defines Stiff-person syndrome (SPS) as a rare, progressive neurological disorder. It is stated that “[s]ymptoms may include stiff muscles in the trunk (torso), arms, and legs; and greater sensitivity to noise, touch, and emotional distress, which can set off muscle spasms. Over time people with SPS may develop abnormal, often hunched over postures. Some people may be too disabled to walk or move. Many fall frequently because they do not have the normal reflexes to catch themselves. This can lead to serious injuries. People with SPS may be afraid to leave the house because street noises, such as the sound of a car horn, can trigger spasms and falls.”
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