“I’ve always been an open book and I wasn’t ready to say anything before but I’m ready now.”
Celine Dion has revealed that she has been diagnosed with Stiff Person Syndrome (SPS), which causes her muscles to tense uncontrollably and is “causing difficulties when I walk and not allowing me to use my vocal chords to sing”.
The condition leaves sufferers as “human statues” as it progressively locks the body into rigid positions, ultimately leaving people unable to walk or talk.
While there is no cure, there are treatments to slow down the progression, with Celine revealing she is doing all she can to minimise symptoms.
The 54-year-old singer addressed her fans in a tearful Instagram post on Thursday as she revealed it has forced her to cancel her European tour in February.
She wrote: “Hello everyone, I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to reach out to you. I miss you all so much and can’t wait to be on stage talking to you in person.
“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 its been really difficult for me to face my challenges and to talk about everything that I’ve been going through.
“Recently I’ve been diagnosed with a very rare neurological disorder called the stiff person syndrome which affects 1 in a million people.
“While we’re still learning about this rare condition, we now know this is what’s been causing all the spasms I’ve been having.”
Detailing the impact the condition has had on her, Celine continued: “Unfortunately, these spasms affect every aspect of my daily life sometimes causing difficulties when I walk and not allowing me to use my vocal chords to sing the way I’m used to.
“It hurts me to tell you today that 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 help.
“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 show but my condition is now allowing me to give you 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 im on the road to recovery.
“This is my focus and I’m doing everything I can to recuperate.”