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Despite illness, Celine Dion still keen to get back onstage

By AFP

March 17, 2024 09:23 AM


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Pop megastar Celine Dion, who is suffering from a rare neurological disorder, said in an Instagram post she looks forward to her return to the stage.

Dion, 55, first disclosed in December 2022 that she had been diagnosed with Stiff Person Syndrome, which causes stiff muscles in the torso, arms and legs, with noise or emotional distress known to trigger spasms.

"Trying to overcome this autoimmune disorder has been one of the hardest experiences of my life, but I remain determined to one day get back onto the stage and to live as normal of a life as possible," Dion said in a post late Friday to mark International SPS Awareness Day.

"I want to send my encouragement and support to all those around the world that have been affected by SPS. I want you to know you can do it! We can do it!" added the Grammy-winning singer of such hits as "My Heart Will Go On" and "Because You Loved Me."

"I am deeply grateful for the love and support from my kids, family, team and all of you!" she added in the post, accompanied by a photo of her smiling broadly and posing with her three sons.

There is no cure for Stiff Person Syndrome, which is progressive, but treatment can help control symptoms. According to the US National Institutes of Health, SPS affects twice as many women as men.

In May last year, Dion was forced to cancel a string of shows scheduled for 2023 and 2024, saying she was not strong enough to tour.

The last time Dion was seen in public was at the Grammy Awards in February, when she made a surprise appearance to present the Album of the Year award to Taylor Swift.

In January, Dion announced she would make a feature-length documentary, to stream on Amazon Prime Video, about her condition to help increase public awareness.

Dion has sold more than 250 million albums during her decades-long career. The Quebec-born star's "Courage World Tour" began in 2019, and Dion had completed 52 shows before the Covid-19 pandemic put the remainder on hold.


AFP


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