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When the movie Titanic when was released in 1997, a gaggle of us as teen girls fell in love. Maybe it was Leonardo DiCaprio and his dreamy blue eyes. Maybe it was the tragic love story between Jack and Rose (still think there was room on that floating board for two, Rose). Whatever the case, we flooded the movie theaters (hi, I went three times) with our teenage tears. 

And to this day, when the sad flute begins to wail at the start of “My Heart Will Go On” I crank up the volume and belt along with Celine Dion. (My kids really enjoy it, obviously.)

Her voice helped define a chapter of our youth—but today, the Canadian superstar delivered devastating news affecting her singing career. 

In a tearful Instagram video shared Thursday, Celine revealed she’s been diagnosed with a rare neurological disease known as stiff person syndrome. 

The disorder is responsible for what she describes as spasms and has impacted her ability to walk and sing, leaving her no choice but to cancel upcoming tour dates and postpone others. 

Watch the video below: 

 

In the video, a subdued Celine, who is 54, addresses the camera straight on and says: “As you know, I’ve always been an open book. And 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 talk about everything that I’ve been going through. Recently I’ve been diagnosed with a very rare neurological disorder called stiff person syndrome which affects something like one in a million people. While we’re still learning about this rare condition, we now know this is what’s been causing all of the spasms that I’ve been having. Unfortunately, the spasms affect every aspect of my daily life, sometimes causing difficulties when I walk and not allowing me to use my vocal cords to sing the way I’m used to.

“It hurts me to tell you today this means I won’t be ready to restart my tour in Europe in February. I have a great team of doctors working alongside me to help me get better, and my precious children who are supporting me and giving me hope. I’m working hard with my sports medicine therapist every day to build back my strength and my ability to perform again. But I have to admit it’s been a struggle.

“All I know is singing; it’s what I’ve done all my life and it’s what I love to do the most. I miss you so much. I miss seeing all of you, being on the stage, performing for you. I always give 100 percent when I do my shows, but my condition is not allowing me to do that right now. For me to reach you again, I have no choice but to concentrate on my health at this moment, and I have hope that I’m on the road to recovery. This is my focus and I’m doing everything that I can to recuperate.

I want to thank you so much for your encouraging wishes of love and support take care of yourselves. Be well I love you guys so well and I really hope to see you again real soon thank you.”

Stiff person syndrome, or SPS, is an autoimmune disease affecting the central nervous system. According to the Cleveland Clinic, “People with this condition first experience a stiffening of the muscles of their trunk followed, over time, by the development of stiffness and rigidity in the legs and other muscles in the body. Stiff person syndrome, also called Moersch-Woltman syndrome and formerly stiff man syndrome, can also cause painful muscle spasms. The muscle spasms occur randomly or can be triggered by noise, emotional distress and light physical touch.” There is no known cure. 

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Carolyn Moore

Carolyn has served as Editor-in-Chief of Her View From Home since 2017. A long time ago, she worked in local TV news and fell in love with telling stories—something she feels grateful to help women do every day at HVFH. She lives in flyover country with her husband and five kids but is really meant to be by the ocean with a good book and a McDonald's fountain Coke. 

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