Céline Dion recounted what her 17 years with rigid person syndrome were like

At the end of 2022, Celine Dion shocked the world by announcing that he had to cancel his professional commitments due to a diagnosis of stiff person syndrome, a rare neurological disorder that affects “one person in a million.” At that time, the Canadian artist mentioned the arduous battle she was fighting against this disease.

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However, what few knew is that the singer has been silently facing this degenerative disease for 17 years, hiding her symptoms while performing on stage. This shocking revelation is one of the highlights of “I Am Céline Dion,” the documentary that Prime Video will premiere worldwide on June 25. The production promises to show the most intimate side of this international music star, offering a deep insight into her life and personal struggle.

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The day Céline Dion said she suffered from stiff person syndrome

“I’ve been dealing with health problems for a long time and it has been very difficult for me to face these challenges and talk about everything I have been going through.” The Canadian singer highlighted that she is accompanied by a team of professionals, who, in addition to providing support, aim to ensure that the disease does not progress as quickly as it could, although its progression is inevitable. “I have a great team of doctors working by my side to help me and my beautiful children get better, who support and help me.“, accurate Celine Dion.

According to information from the Information Center on Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Stiff person syndrome is characterized “due to episodes of rigidity and muscle spasms of the muscles of the trunk and arms and legs, which are often caused by increased sensitivity to noise, touch, and as a startle response.””.

Most of the time the symptoms begin between the ages of 30 and 60, and in the singer’s case, this diagnosis prevents her from “use the vocal cords”, said. “Not much is known yet about this rare disease, but we now know that it is the cause of the muscle spasms I suffer from.”

I am working hard with my sports medicine therapist every day to regain my strength and my ability to act again, But I have to admit it’s been a struggle.. The only thing I know is that singing is what I have done my entire life and what I like to do the most. Miss them a lot. “I miss seeing you all on stage performing for you,” the singer said at the time.

“I am Celine”, the documentary that leaves her 17 years of pain, pharmacological tests and the “struggle” with the rigid person syndrome

When director Irene Taylor got a call a few years ago to make a film about the French-Canadian singer known for her powerful voice, she was hesitant. “Honestly, I thought it didn’t fit. I don’t say this out of arrogance. Said:What do you want from me? That’s not the kind of movie I make”Taylor commented in a video interview. Her previous works, such as the deeply personal “Moonlight Sonata: Deafness in Three Movements,” dealt with intimate and familial themes, such as the deafness of her son and her father.

However, Dion’s perspective prevailed, and Taylor decided to approach the project “without peripheral vision,” focusing on the person in front of her and what they were experiencing. The documentary, set to premiere June 25 on Prime Video, uses clips of performances and interviews from Dion’s 40-year career. It traces key moments in her biography, from her childhood in Quebec, where she was the youngest of 14 children, to her evolution from French teen star to international icon with power ballads like “Because You Loved Me” and “My Heart Will Go On.”

“I Am: Celine Dion” weaves archival footage with contemporary footage of Dion dealing with her health issues, showing the singer at her most vulnerable moments, both emotionally and physically. Gone is the glitz and glamor associated with her stage persona; Dion appears practically without makeup, dressed casually and sharing candid moments with her teenage twins. She is incredibly passionate (at one point she sings the Kit Kat jingle “Gimme a break”), but also very self-aware and funny, as when she delivers an unconventional monologue about her love of shoes.

The film reveals the extent of her health problems, with Dion admitting that she was experiencing symptoms for 17 years. What started as occasional vocal strain became progressively more debilitating, forcing her to cancel shows, something that was almost as painful for her as the physical symptoms due to her work ethic and devotion to her fans.

These spasms in your voice and muscles, which you have hidden for years through gestures, “tricks,” and medications, complicate your enjoyment of music. The singer resorted to drugs such as Valium, consuming between 80 and 90 milligrams a day, a dose that could be lethal.

One of the most striking scenes shows Dion suffering an episode of her illness in the middle of a therapy session. While on the table, his body suddenly freezes, and although he can barely make a sound, his face clearly reflects the pain he is experiencing. During a screening in New York, audience members could be heard crying as they watched this scene.

Taylor expressed about her approach to filming Dion: ““I really tried to look at the person in front of me and what was going on.” This intimate and honest approach has allowed Dion to be shown in a whole new light, revealing the strength and vulnerability of one of music’s biggest stars.

Another of the shocking moments, after acknowledging how long she has been sick, is when Celine Dion shows that she cannot sing, because her vocal cords are affected by the illness. “I’m working hard every day, but I have to admit it’s been a struggle. I miss it a lot. I miss the people. If I can’t run, I’ll walk. If I can’t walk, I will crawl. “I’m not going to stop,” he says in this stark story.

 
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