“There’s little we can do to support her, to alleviate her pain,” said the singer’s older sister Claudette
Céline Dion’s older sister Claudette is giving an update on the Canadian singer’s ongoing health issues.
On Thursday, Claudette, 74, spoke to Hello! Canada about her sister’s recovery since being diagnosed with stiff-person syndrome, a rare and incurable neurological disease that can cause debilitating muscle spasms.
“She’s doing everything to recover,” she told the outlet of Dion. “She’s a strong woman.”
The condition, according to the Stiff Person Syndrome Foundation, affects the central nervous system, specifically the brain and spinal cord. "Patients can be disabled, wheelchair-bound or bed-ridden, unable to work and care for themselves," they say, adding that the neurological disease with autoimmune features can include symptoms like "hyper-rigidity, debilitating pain, chronic anxiety," and muscle spasms "so violent they can dislocate joints and even break bones."
“It’s an illness we know so little about. There are spasms – they’re impossible to control,” Claudette said. “There’s little we can do to support her, to alleviate her pain.”
Earlier this year, a source told PEOPLE that Dion, 55, was "doing everything she can" to be healthy enough to get back onstage after canceling her concert dates through April 2024.
“It’s heartbreaking that she has had to cancel touring but she is suffering mobility and other issues from the disease disrupting her daily life," a music source told PEOPLE exclusively in May.
“She is doing everything she can while working with doctors because she wants to perform,” the source continued. “She has not given up at all. She is hoping to get all of the issues with this disease under control so she can sing again."
Dion first revealed that she was diagnosed with stiff-person syndrome in December in an Instagram video.
"Unfortunately, these spasms affect every aspect of my daily life," the "My Heart Will Go On" singer explained. "Sometimes causing difficulties when I walk and not allowing me to use my vocal cords to sing the way I'm used to."
Dion — who has three sons, René-Charles, 22, and 11-year-old twins Nelson and Eddy with her late husband René Angélil — noted that she has "a great team of doctors working alongside me to help me get better."
"And my precious children who are supporting me and giving me hope," she said at the time.
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Read the original article on People.