Celine Dion Opens Up About Her Health Battle in Emotional Documentary: ‘It’s Been a Struggle’



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Image Credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Celine Dion is ready to talk about the personal health battle that has left her unable to perform. In a preview for Prime Video’s new documentary I Am: Celine Dion released Thursday, May 23, the Grammy winner opened up about her Stiff Person Syndrome diagnosis.

“I’ve been diagnosed with a very rare neurological disorder and I wasn’t ready to say anything before,” Celine, 56, said. “But I’m ready now.”

According to Johns Hopkins University, Stiff Person Syndrome most commonly causes muscle stiffness and painful spasms that come and go and can worsen over time. However, some people experience other symptoms such as double vision or slurred speech.

Currently, there is no treatment but working with a specialist and maintaining symptom control can make it easier to live with the condition.

As a result of her diagnosis, Celine had to cancel her Courage world tour in May 2023. In the trailer for her upcoming documentary, the “My Heart Will Go On” singer shared a glimpse into how difficult it was to stop performing.

“When you record, it sounds great. But when you go on stage, it will be greater,” she said. “It’s not hard to do a show, you know? It’s hard to cancel a show.”

Celine continued, “My voice is the conductor of my life. When your voice brings you joy, you’re the best of yourself. I need my instrument.”

According to Prime Video, I Am: Celine Dion aims to serve “as a love letter” to loyal fans. The inspirational documentary – which also features Celine’s three sons with her late husband René Angélil – also hopes to highlight the music that has guided Celine’s life, while also showcasing the resilience of the human spirit.

“I’m working hard every day, but I have to admit it’s been a struggle,” Celine said while holding back tears. “I miss it so much. The people. I miss them. If I can’t run, I’ll walk. If I can’t walk, I’ll crawl and I won’t stop.”

That same spirit was felt in an interview with Vogue France in April. During the candid conversation, “The Power of Love” singer shared her intention to live with Stiff Person Syndrome to the best of her abilities.

“The way I see it, I have two choices,” she said. “Either I train like an athlete and work super hard, or I switch off and it’s over, I stay at home, listen to my songs, stand in front of my mirror and sing to myself. I’ve chosen to work with all my body and soul, from head to toe, with a medical team. I want to be the best I can be.”

I Am: Celine Dion premieres June 25 on Prime Video.

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