Celine Dion makes first public appearance in over 3 years amid stiff-person syndrome ordeal
Posted by  badge Boss on Nov 01, 2023 - 07:19PM
Music icon Celine Dion smiled for photos at a hockey game (Picture: Instagram/@chantalmachabee)

has been photographed in public for the first time in over three years amid her .

The Canadian pop icon, 55, revealed she had been last year as she and scheduled performances to focus on her recovery.

Having been away from the spotlight since, the singer then resurfaced at a hockey game at Las Vegas’s T-Mobile Arena on Monday.

She was there to cheer on her hometown team, the Montreal Canadiens, against the Vegas Golden Knights.

Despite a loss, Celine headed to the locker room to meet with the team alongside her sons René-Charles, 22, and 13-year-old twins Nelson and Eddy.

‘Nice visit at our game in Vegas yesterday,’ wrote the club’s VP of Communications Chabntal Macabee alongside photos of herself with the star.

It’s the first time she’s been seen in public since March 2020 (Picture: Instagram/chantalmachabee)
The singing superstar met the athletes and wider team of the Montreal Canadiens after their game on Monday (Picture: X/Montreal Canadiens)
She was accompanied by her three sons (Picture: X/Montreal Canadiens)

‘Thank you @celinedion for your great generosity. The whole team was very happy to meet you and your family.’

My Heart Will Go On chart-topper Celine smiled and posed with her arm around Chantal while looking chic yet comfortable in a beige fine-knit loungewear set and a cream bodywarmer.

Her boys, mainly kitted out in team clothes, also joined her and posed with a few players.

She shared them with husband and manager René Angélil, also a big fan of the Montreal Canadiens, who died in 2016 aged 73.

The mum-of-three looked on excellent form in a video clip shared to the team’s X (formerly known as Twitter) profile, where she met coach Martin St, Louis with a warm handshake and hug as they joked together.

‘Let’s squeeze in, let’s not be shy,’ she was also heard saying as they posed for group pictures, quipping: ‘You smell great.’

Celine’s last known pictures taken in public were back in spring 2020 (Picture: Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
She made a splash in a gorgeous rose-themed outfit (Picture: Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)

She then added to the players as she left, ‘You guys stay healthy, okay?’

Celine was last pictured out on March 8, 2020, shortly before lockdowns were introduced worldwide to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.

She wore a stunning pink floral skirt and clutched a bouquet of roses in the photos, which were taken in New York City.

Celine shed light on her illness for first time in December, telling fans that she had been diagnosed with  that affects the central nervous system.

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There is currently no known cure for the condition, which is said to turn people into ‘human statues’ as the body becomes more rigid.

Speaking in a video at the time, she said: ‘Recently I’ve been diagnosed with a very rare neurological disorder called stiff-person syndrome which affects something like one in a million people.

‘While we’re still learning about this rare condition, we now know this is what’s been causing all of the spasms that I’ve been having.

‘Unfortunately, these spasms affect every aspect of my daily life sometimes causing difficulties when I walk and not allowing me to use my vocal cords to sing the way I’m used to.

‘For me to reach you again I have no choice but to concentrate on my health at this moment and I have hope that I’m on the road to recovery. This is my focus and I’m doing everything I can to recuperate.’

What is stiff-person syndrome?

Stiff-person syndrome (SPS) is a rare autoimmune movement disorder that affects the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord).

SPS is characterised by fluctuating muscle rigidity in the trunk and limbs and a heightened sensitivity to stimuli such as noise, touch, and emotional distress, which can set off muscle spasms. Stiff-person syndrome is extremely rare.

Only about one out of every one million people have been diagnosed with this syndrome. Twice as many women have stiff person syndrome as men. Symptoms can occur at any age but usually develop between ages 30 and 60.

In September, Celine’s sister Claudette offered an update, hailing her sibling as a ‘strong woman’ and insisting she is ‘doing everything’ she can to get better.

‘It’s an illness we know so little about,’ she said of the symptoms. ‘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.’

Claudette added to  that the family were ‘crossing our fingers that researchers will find a remedy for this awful illness’.