Céline Dion ignored early symptoms of Stiff Person Syndrome

Céline Dion. Picture: Bang Showbiz.

Céline Dion. Picture: Bang Showbiz.

Published Jun 11, 2024


Céline Dion did not “take the time” to understand her early symptoms of Stiff Person Syndrome.

The 56-year-old “My Heart Will Go On” singer was forced to stop performing after her 2022 diagnosis of the condition.

She has opened up about how she had been too distracted to notice the signs because she had been caring for her ailing husband and her family.

This week, she told broadcaster Hoda Kotb, 59, in an interview with the morning show, “Today”: “I did not take the time. I should have stopped, taken the time to figure it out.”

Referring to how she was caring for her throat cancer-stricken husband René Angélil, she added: “My husband as well was fighting for his own life. I had to raise my kids, I had to hide. I had to try to be a hero.”

Angélil, 73, died from the disease in 2016. The couple had been married for 22 years.

She said her symptoms had eventually become to unbearable to hide.

“Feeling my body leaving me, holding on to my own dreams … I could not do this anymore.

“Lying, for me, the burden was too much. Lying to the people who got me where I am today, I could not do it anymore.”

She said the disease has left her fighting for air: “It’s like somebody is strangling you. It’s like somebody is pushing your larynx (or) pharynx.

“It was like talking like that, and you cannot go high or lower.”

Dion said the stiffness could sometimes feel like parts of her body were locked into place.

“It feels like, if I point my feet, they will stay (there.)

“It’s cramping but it’s like in a position where you cannot unlock them.

“I have broken ribs at one point because, sometimes when its very severe, it can break.”