Céline Dion makes first appearance since stiff-person syndrome diagnosis

Publish Date
Friday, 3 November 2023, 10:03AM
The 55-year-old singer suffers from a disease called Stiff Person Syndrome. Photo / Getty Images

The 55-year-old singer suffers from a disease called Stiff Person Syndrome. Photo / Getty Images

Céline Dion has made her first public appearance in nearly four years as she continues to battle stiff-person syndrome.

The My Heart Will Go On singer, 55, revealed her diagnosis in December 2022, which forced her to pull the plug on her Courage world tour, but she dropped in on an NHL game at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on the night of Monday, October 30 between the Vegas Golden Knights and her hometown team, the Montreal Canadiens.

After the game, which saw the Habs lose, Dion went into the locker room and chatted with everyone there as she went around and shook their hands, with Canadiens coach Martin St-Louis, 48, telling her in a conversation in French he fondly recalled seeing her sing for the pope when she was only 14.

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Dion then told players to stay “strong” and “healthy” and to keep “doing what you do best” – before joking as they posed for a snap not to “be shy” to get close to her as they “smelled great”.

The singer and mum-of-three son Rene-Charles, 22, and twins Eddy and Nelson, 13, were also with her and posed for photos with players.

Her visit comes a couple of months after Dion’s sister said the star was suffering uncontrollable “spasms” as she continues to battle with her incurable stiff-person syndrome.

Claudette Dion, 74, said in September there’s little the singer’s family can do to help her “strong” sister “alleviate her pain”.

She told HELLO! Canada, “She’s doing everything to recover. She’s a strong woman.”

“It’s an illness we know so little about. There are spasms – they’re impossible to control.

“You know how people often jump up in the night because of a cramp in the leg or the calf? It’s a bit like that, but in all muscles.

“There’s little we can do to support her, to alleviate her pain.”

Stiff-person syndrome is a rare, progressive neurological disorder that can cause stiff muscles in the torso, arms and legs and affects about one in a million people.

Dion was left devastated when her music producer husband Rene Angelil died in 2016 at the age of 73 after they had been married for 22 years.

- Written by Bang! Showbiz and republished here with permission

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