Céline Dion announces rare neurological disorder diagnosis; cancels start of European tour

Award-winning singer Céline Dion has announced that she has been diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder called stiff person syndrome.

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Dion made the announcement Thursday morning on social media, telling fans that she will not be able to start her European tour in February as planned, E! Online reported.

The singer called the disorder “very rare” and added, “I wasn’t ready to say anything before, but I’m ready now. 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.”

Dion said she and her team are still learning about the syndrome which causes spasms that she says “affect every aspect of my daily life.” She said she has difficulty walking and that her vocal cords aren’t able to be used in a way to allow her to sing the way she is accustomed to.

Dion is working with a sports medicine therapist to regain her strength with the aim of taking the stage again.

Stiff person syndrome is triggered by factors such as “sudden movement, cold temperatures or unexpected loud noises,” according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. It is so rare that it only affects one or two in a million people.

The shows that were scheduled for the spring have been pushed back to 2024, but those that were scheduled to take place in the summer have been canceled, USA Today reported.

Dion had canceled the North American portion of the “Courage World Tour” in January because of “severe and persistent muscle spasms.” The same tour dates had been postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, USA Today reported. The spasms also forced the cancelation of Dion’s Las Vegas residency in October 2021.

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