Celine Dion Reveals Why She Kept Her Stiff Person Syndrome Battle A Secret For 17 Years

celine dion stiff person syndrome

Celine Dion has spoken about the pain of keeping her battle with Stiff Person Syndrome a secret.

celine dion sisterCeline Dion has opened up about her battle with Stiff Person Syndrome and why she kept it secret for seventeen years.

The singer fought back tears as she admitted that hiding the condition took a toll on her emotionally.

In an interview with Today’s Show host, Hoda Kotb, the iconic singer, shared that she initially overlooked her symptoms and did not take the time to investigate what was wrong. It also coincided with her husband René Angélil’s battle with throat cancer, which led to his passing in 2016.

Recall that the 56-year-old singer officially announced her battle with the rare autoimmune neurological disorder in 2022.

“We did not know what was going on [with me]. I did not take the time… I should have stopped, took the time to figure it out. 

“And like it wasn’t enough, my husband as well is fighting for his own life.”

After her husband’s death, Dion said she found it challenging to raise her children, René-Charles, 23, and twins Nelson and Eddy, 13, with her career—all while keeping her deteriorating health a secret from the public.

She continued: “I had to raise my kids, I had to hide, I had to try to be a hero—while feeling my body leaving me,’ she continued. ‘[I was] holding on to my dreams.”

But she said ‘lying’ eventually became ‘too much,’ adding, “Lying for me was… The burden was too much. Lying to the people who got me to where I am today, I could not do it anymore.”

In another part of the “Today” interview, Dion described the challenges of singing with her condition, likening it to being strangled.

“It’s like somebody is strangling you,” she said, “like somebody is pushing your larynx/pharynx.” The Queen of Power Ballads added that muscle spasms make controlling her pitch difficult.

The disorder affects more than just her voice. “The spasms can also be in the abdominal, spine, or ribs,” she explained. “If I point my feet, they will stay [stuck in that position], or if I cook – because I love to cook – my fingers, my hands, will get in a position. My feet – it’s [like] cramping, but it’s like [they get] in a position, and you cannot unlock them.

Celine even revealed that the condition had caused her to have broken ribs. She noted, “I have broken ribs at one point because sometimes when it’s very severe, it can break some ribs as well.”