Celine Dion's rare, incurable illness is still wreaking havoc on her life, but she's "doing everything she can," the singer's sister recently shared. In a new interview with Hello! Canada, Claudette Dion said there's "little" anyone can really do other than hope doctors discover a cure for stiff person syndrome.
According to estimates, stiff person syndrome — a neurological condition that results in uncontrollable muscle spasms — affects one in every 1 million people.
Keep reading to learn more about Celine's rare health issues…
"She's doing everything to recover. She's a strong woman," Claudette Dion said of sister Celine Dion. "While there is no cure for stiff person syndrome, there are treatments that slow down the progression and Celine revealed she is doing all she can to minimize symptoms."
Because of its rarity, little is known about stiff person syndrome.
"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," Claudette told Hello! "We're crossing our fingers that researchers will find a remedy for this awful illness."
On Dec. 8, 2022, Celine Dion shared heartbreaking news with fans on Instagram, explaining in English and her native French that she'd been diagnosed with a rare and incurable neurological disease — stiff person syndrome — that has affected her ability to sing.
The Canadian music icon now knows it's the reason she's been facing debilitating spasms in recent years.
"I've been dealing with problems with my health for a long time, and it's been really difficult for me to face these challenges and to talk about everything that I've been going through," she wrote while explaining her decision to postpone her tour at the time.
Celine added that she was under the care of doctors who are helping her face her health crisis in hopes she can perform again.
Celine Dion was reportedly "shocked" by her diagnosis.
"Celine received this diagnosis fairly recently; she's been suffering the symptoms for quite some time, but it always baffled her what was wrong," a source told Us Weekly in late 2022.
"It came as a shock, but she's lost none of her fighting spirit and is comforted that at least she knows exactly what she's dealing with now and there's comfort that she can alleviate some of the symptoms by getting treatments that are specific for this condition."
In early August 2023, Claudette Dion shared an update on sister Celine Dion's condition, telling Le Journal de Montréal, "When I call and Celine is busy, I talk to my sister Linda, who lives with her, and who tells me she's working hard. She listens as much as possible to the great researchers of this rare disease."
Claudette said her sister needs "rest."
"She always goes above everything. She always tries to be the biggest, the strongest. At some point, your little heart and your little body speak to you. It is important," Claudette said. "We trust her. It's in her. She's disciplined in everything she does in her life."