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24th Apr 2024

‘Nothing is going to stop me’ — Céline Dion opens up about life with Stiff Person Syndrome in new interview

Jody Coffey

Celine Dion

“I know that nothing is going to stop me”

Céline Dion was diagnosed with Stiff Person Syndrome (SPS) in 2022, a disease which has paused her career as she contends with its symptoms.

SPS is an extremely rare autoimmune neurological disorder which impacts around 1 in 1,000,000 people worldwide, according to John Hopkins Medicine.

The condition causes muscle spasms, stiffness, and in some cases a loss of mobility.

The singer has vocalised how SPS has impacted her, admitting to 7 jours that it causes her difficulty when she walks, as well as preventing her from using her vocal cords to sing the way she’s used to.

Credit: Getty

Following her diagnosis, Dion put her singing career on hold by cancelling all of her 2023 and 2024 tour dates.

In a new interview with Vogue France, the French Canadian singer reflected on the feelings of despair she experienced in the early days of her illness.

“At the beginning I would ask myself: why me? How did this happen? What have I done? Is this my fault? Life doesn’t give you any answers,” she told the magazine.

“You just have to live it! I have this illness for some unknown reason. The way I see it, I have two choices. Either I train like an athlete and work super hard, or I switch off and it’s over, I stay at home, listen to my songs, stand in front of my mirror and sing to myself.

“I’ve chosen to work with all my body and soul, from head to toe, with a medical team. I want to be the best I can be. My goal is to see the Eiffel Tower again… I have this strength within me. I know that nothing is going to stop me.”

Credit: Getty

Presently, there is no cure for SPS, which means Dion has ‘to learn to live with it’, explaining the rigorous routine she follows to keep symptoms at bay.

“Five days a week I undergo athletic, physical and vocal therapy. I work on my toes, my knees, my calves, my fingers, my singing, my voice,” the singer shared.

The symptoms of SPS mean the My Heart Will Go On singer is unable to confirm any return to the stage.

“For four years I’ve been saying to myself that I’m not going back, that I’m ready, that I’m not ready.

“As things stand, I can’t stand here and say to you: ‘Yes, in four months.’ I don’t know … My body will tell me.

“I’m working very hard and tomorrow will be even harder. Tomorrow is another day. But there’s one thing that will never stop, and that’s the will.”