Celine Dion
Celine Dion, pictured here in July 2019, shared that she was diagnosed with stiff person syndrome in December 2022. Photo: AFP / Lucas BARIOULET AFP / Lucas BARIOULET

Celine Dion's sister, Claudette Dion, has shared a heartbreaking update about the legendary singer's health amid her battle with stiff person syndrome, which is an acquired neurological disorder that causes progressive muscle stiffness and repeated episodes of painful muscle spasms.

The 75-year-old talked about her younger sister's condition during an interview with Canada's 7 Jours. She said the support for the "My Heart Will Go On" hitmaker has been immense and she "receives so many messages, gifts, blessed crucifixes".

"There are some who have lost hope because it is an unknown disease. If you knew how many calls we receive at the Foundation to hear from Céline! People tell us that they love her and that they pray for her," she said.

Claudette shared of Celine: "She works hard, but she has no control over her muscles. What pains me is that she has always been disciplined. She has always worked hard. Our mother always told her, 'You're going to do it well, you're going to do it properly.'"

She continued: "Of course, in our dreams and in hers, the idea is to come back on stage. In what state? I do not know."

"The vocal cords are muscles, and the heart too is a muscle. That's what comes to get me. As it is a case out of millions, scientists did not do that much research, because it did not affect that many people," she added, referring to the rarity of stiff person syndrome which is a disorder that currently has no cure.

Claudette previously revealed that there has been little improvement in Celine's health despite working with "the top researchers in the field". She said they could not find medicine that works but they remain hopeful. She also shared that her sister is not yet reliant on a wheelchair to move around.

The 55-year-old was forced to reschedule her world tour last December, which was supposed to begin at the end of 2023, because of her diagnosis. She was also forced to cancel eight of her summer 2023 shows.

In an emotional video posted on Instagram last year, she admitted to having dealt with problems with her health for a long time. Fighting back tears she said: "It's been really difficult for me to face these challenges and to talk about everything that I've been going through."

"Recently I have been diagnosed with a very rare neurological syndrome, which affects something like one in a million people," she continued and explained that her condition has led to her having spasms. It has also made it difficult for her to walk and has prevented her from singing the way she "used to".

"All I know is singing. It's what I've done all my life, and it's what I love to do the most," she said adding that despite the struggle, she remains hopeful that she can still return to the stage and hopes for recovery with the help of ongoing treatment.

Celine had to postpone her Las Vegas residency because of "severe" muscle spasms back in October 2021. Then months later, she had to cancel her North American tour and postpone her European tour.

Claudette's interview comes after her sister made a rare public appearance at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Oct. 30. Celine took her sons, René-Charles, 22, and 13-year-old twins, Eddy and Nelson, to watch an NHL game. They even posed for photos backstage with a few hockey players. Celine was also spotted at the closing performance of Katy Perry's Las Vegas residency last month. Videos taken from the event posted on social media showed her shaking hands with people, talking, and having fun.