What is stiff person syndrome?

Pop icon Celine Dion has announced she will be canceling her upcoming shows after being diagnosed with a terminal neurological disorder that turns people into “human statues”.

The “My Heart Will Go On” legend broke the heartbreaking news in a teary-eyed Instagram video on Thursday.

“As you know, I’ve always been an open book and I wasn’t ready to say anything before, but now I’m ready,” the 54-year-old Grammy winner said in the devastating clip. “I’ve struggled with health issues for a long time and it’s been really difficult for me to face my challenges and talk about everything I’ve been through.”

Dion then revealed that she had been “diagnosed with a very rare neurological disorder called stiff person syndrome, which affects 1 in a million people.”

"So that I can reach you again, I have no choice but to focus on my health at this moment and I have hope that I am on the mend," lamented Dion.
“In order for me to get back to you, I have no choice but to focus on my health at this moment and I have hope that I am on the road to recovery,” Dion lamented.
Celinedion/Instagram

What is stiff person syndrome?

According to RareDiseases.org, stiff-person syndrome is a “rare acquired neurological disorder characterized by progressive muscle stiffness (rigidity) and repeated episodes of painful muscle spasms.”

It explained that if left untreated, SPS symptoms can progress to the point where they significantly affect a person’s ability to walk and perform routine, daily tasks.

“While we’re still learning about this rare condition, we now know that it’s at the root of all of my cramps,” the singer explained. “Unfortunately, these spasms affect every aspect of my daily life, sometimes causing difficulty in walking and not allowing me to use my vocal cords in the way I’m used to singing.”

Due to her condition, Dion was forced by mail to reschedule her European tour to February. The Canadian singer has also canceled eight of her summer shows scheduled for 2023, rescheduling Spring 2023 to 2024.

An LED screen displays an advertisement for Celine Dion's upcoming residence as construction continues at Resorts World Las Vegas on June 20, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
An LED screen displays an advertisement for Celine Dion’s upcoming residence as construction continues at Resorts World Las Vegas on June 20, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Getty Images

Shows halted while symptoms were being treated

The beloved Canuck singer revealed that she is currently being treated for her SPS symptoms.

“I have an amazing team of doctors working alongside me to help me get better and my precious children to support and help me,” she said. “I’m working hard every day with my sports medicine doctor to build my strength and capability back up, but I have to admit it’s been a struggle.”

“I miss you so much. I miss seeing you all on stage performing for you guys,” said Dion. “I always give 100 percent when I do my show, but my condition just doesn’t allow me to to give you that.”

She added, “As for getting back to you, I have no choice but to focus on my health at this moment and I have hope that I am on the road to recovery.”

Dion performs on the opening night of her new world tour "courage" at the Videotron Center in Quebec City, Quebec on September 18, 2019.
Dion performs on the opening night of her new world tour “Courage” at the Videotron Center in Quebec City, Quebec on September 18, 2019.
AFP via Getty Images

The bombshell announcement comes after the singer revealed in October 2021 that she had to postpone her stay in Las Vegas due to “severe” muscle cramps.

Months later, Dion canceled her North American tour and postponed her European tour.

https://nypost.com/2022/12/08/celine-dion-cancels-tours-over-incurable-neurological-disorder/ What is stiff person syndrome?

Emma Bowman

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