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Celine Dion puts three sons front and center and reveals promise she made about future together

The Canadian singer is living with stiff-person syndrome

Hannah Hargrave
US Deputy Editor
June 11, 2024
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Celine Dion has opened up about life with her children amidst her debilitating health diagnosis and revealed the promise she made to her sons. 

The star is a mom to 23-year-old, Rene-Charles and twins, Nelson and Eddy, 13. She's currently navigating her battle with stiff-person syndrome - a rare autoimmune and neurological disorder - with her kids supporting her. 

Now, in a new interview with People, Celine says she is determined to fight for the sake of her trio of boys. 

While her symptoms have been going on for years, they got much worse in the years that preceded her diagnosis which was scary for her and her sons. 

"I barely could walk at one point, and I was missing very much living," she told the outlet. "My kids started noticing. I was like, 'Okay, they already lost a parent. I don't want them to be scared.'"

Celine Dion with her three children
Celine with her three children

Celine's husband and the children's dad, Rene Angelil, died from throat cancer in 2016.

She made a difficult promise, telling them: "You lost your dad, [but] mom has a condition and it's different. I'm not going to die. It's something that I'm going to learn to live with."

ANAHEIM, CA - OCTOBER 14:  In this handout image provided by Disneyland Resort, Celine Dion and twin sons Eddy (L) and Nelson, age 4, celebrate the boys' upcoming fifth birthday with Mickey Mouse at Disneyland park in Anaheim, Calif. on Wed. The Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration celebrates 60 years of magic now through September 5, 2016. (Photo by Scott Brinegar/Disneyland Resort via Getty Images)© Handout
Celine with her twins Eddy and Nelson, aged four

The diagnosis led her to retreat from the public eye as she sought recovery, unable to sing anymore.

In fact, it took 17 years for her to understand what was happening to her and to get help. 

Celine Dion and her three sons at a The Rolling Stones concert, pictured backstage with Mick Jagger© Instagram
Celine and her three sons at a The Rolling Stones concert, pictured backstage with Mick Jagger

She recently asked that anyone with symptoms: "I beg of you, don't wait that long!"

In an upcoming interview with Hoda Kotb on Today, Celine said of putting her health on the sideline: "My husband as well was fighting for his own life. I had to raise my kids, I had to hide. I had to try to be a hero."

Singer Celine Dion holds her son Nelson Angelil and husband and manager Rene Angelil, holds their son Eddy Angelil next to Rene-Charles Angelil and Dion's mother Therese Dion as they arrive at Caesars Palace on February 16, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Steven Lawton/FilmMagic)© Steven Lawton
Celine's husband died of cancer in 2016

The star goes into more depth in her documentary about her life-altering illness and experience trying to get back on stage, after years of being unable to perform in I Am: Celine Dion, which is set to drop on Amazon Prime Video on June 25.

Rene, Eddy and Nelson support their famous mom in her documentary as rare glimpses of their heartwarming home life are also shared. 

Celine Dion and husband Rene Angelil during Celine Dion Recieving a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at Mann Chinese 6 Theatre in Hollywood, California, United States. © Christopher Polk
Celine says she was struggling with her health for years

The 102 minute documentary feature was announced back in January, ahead of Celine's surprise appearance at the 66th Grammy Awards in early February.

Celine shared a personal message with regards to bringing her story to the screen. "This last couple of years has been such a challenge for me, the journey from discovering my condition to learning how to live with and manage it, but not to let it define me.

"As the road to resuming my performing career continues, I have [realized] how much I have missed it, of being able to see my fans. During this absence, I decided I wanted to document this part of my life, to try to raise awareness of this little-known condition, to help others who share this diagnosis."

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