“Hello, everyone. I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to reach out to you,” a visibly emotional Dion, 54, said in a sit-down video she posted via Instagram on Thursday, December 8. “I miss you all so much and I 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.”
Taking a deep breath, the “My Heart Will Go On” singer, who also recorded the same video in French, shared, “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.”
The “All By Myself” artist went on to explain her diagnosis, “which affects something like one in a million people,” she explained. Dion noted that the “rare condition” of stiff-person syndrome is what has “been causing all of the spasms” that she’s been having.
According to the Mayo Clinic, “stiff-man syndrome” — also known as “Moersch-Woltman syndrome” — “is a rare disorder of motor function characterized by involuntary stiffness of axial muscles and superimposed painful muscle spasms, which are often induced by startle or emotional stimuli.”
Dion continued to choke back tears in her address to fans while explaining that 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.”
Unfortunately, the “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” songstress told her 5 million Instagram followers, “this means I won’t be ready to restart my tour in Europe in February.” Her Instagram caption notes that her Spring 2023 shows have now been pushed to Spring 2024.
Despite the “struggle” of battling the rare illness — and the deep heartbreak Dion feels about having to cancel her tour — there is hope for the Grammy winner amid her health scare.
“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,” the Canada native — who shared three sons, René-Charles, 21, and twins Nelson and Eddy, 11, with late husband René Angelil, noted. “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.”
Per the Mayo Clinic, “the standard treatment [for stiff-person syndrome] has been benzodiazepines.
Fighting back tears , Dion explained that she has “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.”
She concluded her message by encouraging fans to look after themselves. “Take care of yourselves. Be well,” she said. “I love you guys so much and I really hope I can see you again real soon.”
As fans all over the world shared their love and well-wishes for the iconic singer, celebrities — including Gwen Stefani and Katharine McPhee — also chimed in with their support for Dion. See stars’ reactions below.