Celine Dion makes first public appearance in over three years after stiff-person syndrome diagnosis
Singer Celine Dion made her first public outing in almost four years at an NHL hockey game on Monday (1 November).
In December 2022, the 55-year-old music legend announced she had been diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder known as stiff-person syndrome, forcing her to cancel her highly-anticipated 2023 to 2024 tour.
Aside from the occasional updates on social media, the star has remained largely out of the spotlight as she focuses on her recovery.
Symptoms of the painful condition can include muscle stiffness and painful spasms, slurred speech and unsteady walking, but the “My Heart Will Go On” singer was all smiles on Monday as she cheered on her local team the Montreal Canadiens, who eventually lost to the Vegas Golden Knights.
She was joined by her three sons, René-Charles, 22, and twins, Eddy and Nelson, 13, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
After the game, Celine went to the locker room to shake hands with the athletes and cheerfully posed for a picture with the club’s VP of Communications Chantal Machabee.
In a separate post on Instagram, Machabee wrote: “Nice visit at our game in Vegas yesterday. Thank you Celine Dion for your great generosity. The whole team was very happy to meet you and your family.”
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Fans have rallied around the former Eurovision winner since she announced her diagnosis last year. In her announcement video, she explained: “It’s been really difficult for me to face these challenges and to talk about everything that I’ve been going through.”
The singer then shared the condition was “causing difficulties” with her walking and affecting her vocal chords, meaning she is not able to “sing that way [she] used to”.
“All I know is singing is what I’ve done all my life and it’s what I love to do the most. I miss you so much, I miss seeing all of you, being on the stage, performing for you,” she concluded at the time.
In an interview with Hello! Canada at the end of August this year, Celine’s sister Claudette, offered an update on the star’s condition.
“She’s doing everything to recover,” Claudette, 74, shared. “She’s a strong woman.”
“It’s an illness we know so little about,” she continued. “There are spasms – they’re impossible to control. You know who 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.”
Earlier this year Celine featured in Priyanka Chopra and Sam Heughans’ romance, Love Again, where she played a fictionalised version of herself.
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