Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Céline Dion No Longer has Control Over Muscles amid Stiff Person Syndrome Battle

Tue 19 Dec 2023 | 11:49 AM
Céline Dion
Céline Dion
Yara Sameh

Canadian music icon Céline Dion's sister Claudette has shared a heartbreaking update on the singer's health amid her battle with rare neurological disorder known as Stiff Person Syndrome (SPS).

“She’s working hard, but she doesn’t have control over her muscles,” she told Canada’s 7 Jours. “What breaks my heart is that she’s always been disciplined. She’s always worked hard. Our mother always told her, ‘You’re going to do it well, you’re going to do it properly.’”

Last December, the 55-year-old “My Heart Will Go On” singer shared that she had been diagnosed with the incurable neurological condition, and canceled her forthcoming tour dates.

Then in May, Céline Dion was forced to pull the remaining dates of her world tour. The music icon said that she was “working really hard to build back my strength”.

She added: “I’m so sorry to disappoint all of you once again. It’s not fair to you to keep postponing the shows, and even though it breaks my heart, it’s best that we cancel everything now until I’m really ready to be back on stage again.”

However, in the new interview, Céline Dion’s sister played down the possibility of her returning to full-scale touring. “It’s true that in both our dreams and hers, the goal is to return to the stage,” she said. “In what capacity? I don’t know.”

Claudette Dion added that the rarity of the condition means there has been scant research into a cure: “The vocal cords are muscles, and the heart is also a muscle. This is what comes to get me. Because it’s one out of a million case, the scientists haven’t done that much research because it didn’t affect that many people.”

She added that, nevertheless, Céline Dion and her family remain hopeful: “Some people have lost hope because it’s an illness that isn’t well known. If only you knew the number of phone calls the Foundation gets about Celine! People tell us they love her and they’re praying for her. She gets so many messages, presents and blessed crucifixes.”

SPS is an autoimmune and neurological disorder that causes rigidity in the torso and limbs. Symptoms also include muscle spasms, which have affected the musician's ability to sing and perform, and can be triggered by environmental stimuli (like loud noises) or emotional stress.