Celine Dion’s sister shares emotional update on singer’s debilitating health battle

The ‘My Heart Will Go On’ singer has been diagnosed with stiff person syndrome

Ever since Celine Dion shared her stiff person syndrome diagnosis in December 2022, her loyal fans have been desperate to know how she is recovering. 

While the singer has shared little information on her health since her initial reveal and has remained largely out of the spotlight, her sister, Claudette Dion, has given fans hope after she recently shared an update on Celine’s condition. 

According to Journaldesfemmes.fr, the 74-year-old appeared on the Quebec TV show, Bonsoir Bonsoir, and said that Celine is in “a determined state of mind” and “working hard” to manage her symptoms. 

“We’re all crossing our fingers, and I’m glad people are concerned,” Claudette told host Jean-Philippe Wauthier. “She is working hard, and we are confident that we will succeed. It can’t be a story like this,” she added. 

Claudette recalled an emotional conversation she had with Celine, in which she told her sister: “This can’t be possible. Heaven made a mistake.” Celine reportedly replied: “You are going to make me cry.” 

Claudette’s update comes after Celine made the difficult decision to completely cancel her world tour after several postponements following her diagnosis. “I’m working really hard to build back my strength, but touring can be very difficult even when you’re 100 per cent,” she said in a statement in May. 

“I’m so sorry to disappoint all of you once again. It’s not fair to you to keep postponing the shows, and even though it breaks my heart, it’s best that we cancel everything now until I’m really ready to be back on stage again. I want you all to know, I’m not giving up… and I can’t wait to see you again!” 

Celine revealed in October 2021 that she was battling “severe and persistent muscle spasms”. In December 2022, she shared a statement in which she confirmed she had been diagnosed with the rare neurological disorder, stiff person syndrome.

Speaking of her diagnosis, she said: “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 to talk about everything that I’ve been going through.”

Symptoms of stiff person syndrome include muscle rigidity in the trunk and arms, often triggered by noise, touch, and emotional distress. Celine’s condition is characterized by muscle spasms. 

Speaking of her own symptoms, Celine previously said: “[Muscle spasms] sometimes cause difficulties when I walk, and it’s not allowing me to use my vocal cords to sing the way I am used to.” 

People with stiff person syndrome suffer from frequent falls because they lack defensive reflexes to save themselves. Sufferers are often unable to walk or move, and it’s twice as common in women than in men. 

Is there a cure for stiff person syndrome? 

There is no cure for stiff person syndrome but anti-anxiety drugs, muscle relaxants, and anti-convulsant drugs can help manage symptoms and slow the progression of the syndrome.