Nearly eight months after the singer announced she was diagnosed with Stiff-person syndrome—a rare chronic condition that causes muscle stiffness and painful spasms—her sister Claudette shared insight into how their family has rallied around her.
"When I call, and Celine is busy I talk to my sister Linda, who lives with her, who tells me she is working hard," Claudette recently told Le Journal de Montreal in a statement that has been translated from French. "She is studying and learning from the world's best doctors specialized in this rare disease."
The update comes two months after the "My Heart Will Go On" singer canceled the remaining dates of her Courage World Tour. As Claudette noted, Céline's main priority continues to be focusing on her health.
"I honestly think she just needs to rest," she shared. "She's spent all her life above it all, trying to be the biggest and strongest. At some point, your ‘little' heart and ‘little' body is speaking to you. It's important."
Noting that the 55-year-old is diligent about her recovery, Claudette added, "We trust her. It is within her. She has always been very disciplined at everything she's ever accomplished in her life."
Céline opened up about her diagnosis last December, noting that she and her team were still working to learn about the condition.
"I wasn't ready to say anything before, but I'm ready now," she said in an Instagram video posted at the time. "I've been dealing with problems with my health for a long time, and it's been really difficult for me to face these challenges and to talk about everything that I've been going through."
As the mom of three explained, her condition has grown to "affect every aspect of my daily life."
"Sometimes causing difficulties when I walk," she continued, "and not allowing me to use my vocal cords to sing the way I'm used to."
As a result, in May, Céline announced that she would have to cancel her world tour altogether.
"I'm so sorry to disappoint all of you once again," Dion wrote in a May 26 Instagram message. "I'm working really hard to build back my strength, but touring can be very difficult even when you're 100%. It's not fair to you to keep postponing the shows, and even though it breaks my heart, it's best that we cancel everything now until I'm really ready to be back on stage again."
"I want you all to know, I'm not giving up," she added, "and I can't wait to see you again!"