Céline Dion: She kept her illness secret for 17 years

Céline Dion: She kept her illness secret for 17 years

In 2022, Céline Dion made public that she had been diagnosed with stiff person syndrome. Now the 56-year-old revealed that she had been suffering from the disease for much longer but had kept it a secret.

Céline Dion 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.

In a preview of an interview with “Today Show” host Hoda Kotb, Dion said that at some point it became “too much” for her to “lie to her fans.” NBC will broadcast the full conversation on June 11 at 10 p.m. (local time). She was diagnosed with the rare neurological autoimmune disease in 2022, but had been battling the disease in secret for a long time before that. She described it as a huge “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 her, and she often stumbled or fell.

The singer went on to say that she had noticed that something was wrong with her, but that she did not react immediately. She did not take the time to find out what was wrong. Her husband René Angélil was struggling with major health problems of his own at the time. He eventually died of throat cancer in 2016.

After his death, she found it difficult to balance her children René-Charles and the twins Nelson and Eddy 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.”

Céline Dion: “It’s like someone is strangling you”

Although Dion battled the disease for 17 years, she performed 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 pressing on your larynx.” 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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