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Stiff Person Syndrome: Céline Dion spoke for the first time about her rare disease

Stiff Person Syndrome: Céline Dion spoke for the first time about her rare disease
Stiff Person Syndrome: Céline Dion spoke for the first time about her rare disease

Celine Dion

It feels like someone is strangling you, the 56-year-old described the severe cramps in her throat – as if her larynx and throat were being squeezed shut, Dion said in the interview broadcast on Tuesday evening (local time) on the US broadcaster NBC.

The disease can cause muscle cramps anywhere in the body, causing her hands or feet to freeze. During severe attacks, she has even broken ribs, said the Canadian-born woman.

Rare neurological disease

Dion announced in December 2022 that she had been diagnosed with the rare neurological disease. She suffers from muscle cramps and sometimes has problems walking and singing, she said at the time. That’s why the “My Heart Will Go On” singer had canceled all dates of her “Courage World Tour” in Europe planned for 2023 and 2024.

She told NBC presenter Hoda Kotb that the first symptoms appeared many years ago. During her German tour “Taking Chances” in 2008, she first experienced difficulties singing. Her voice rose and she lost control of it. She was very afraid of going on stage.

“I will return to the stage”

She is battling the disease with physical therapy, vocal training and medication. “I will return to the stage, even if I have to crawl, even if I have to speak with my hands,” said Dion. She misses her fans very much. However, she did not give a date for a possible return to the stage.

The documentary “I Am: Céline Dion” will be released at the end of June, in which she documents her battle against her illness. She caused a surprise appearance at the Grammy Awards in February. Dion came on stage to thunderous applause to present the best album of the year.

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