Célione Dion: She kept her illness secret for 17 years

Célione Dion: She kept her illness secret for 17 years

For 17 years, Céline Dion hid her illness from the public. But then the “burden of lying” became too great.

Céline Dion (56) has tearfully revealed that she hid her stiff person syndrome from the public for 17 years before finally revealing her diagnosis in 2022. The “My Heart Will Go On” singer said that at some point the “burden of lying” became too much for her.

She felt like her body was leaving her

In a preview of an interview with “Today Show” host Hoda Kotb (59), Dion described how at some point it became “too much” for her to “lie to her fans.” NBC will broadcast the full conversation on June 11 from 10 p.m. (local time). She was diagnosed with the rare neurological autoimmune disease in 2022, but had been battling the disease in secret long before that. She described it as a great “burden” to hide it from her supporters. However, she thought she had to act like a “hero” for the public, while secretly she felt like her “body was leaving her.” Her voice kept failing, she often stumbled or fell.

The singer went on to say that she had noticed that something was wrong with her, but that she had not reacted immediately. She had not taken the time to find out what was wrong. Her husband René Angélil (1942-2016) was struggling with major health problems at the time. He eventually died of throat cancer in 2016.

After his death, she found it difficult to balance her children René-Charles (23) and the twins Nelson and Eddy (13) with her career – while also keeping her deteriorating health a secret from the public. “I had to raise my children, I had to hide, I had to try to be a hero,” she continued. “I held on to my own dreams.”

“It’s like someone is strangling you”

Despite battling the disease for 17 years, Dion continued performing until 2022, when she shared the diagnosis with the world and canceled all upcoming shows. In the new interview, Dion also described how singing feels for her now: “It’s like someone is strangling you. It’s like someone is squeezing your larynx/throat.” Because of the cramps, it is also difficult for her to control her pitch. She also gets cramps in her stomach, spine and ribs. She even suffered a broken rib as a result.

In her new documentary “I Am: Celine Dion”, which will be released on Amazon Prime Video on June 25th, she also gives insights into her illness. Despite the impairments, she has not given up hope of being able to perform on stage again. Recently it was said that there might be one last TV concert.

Source: Stern

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