Fri. Jul 19th, 2024

Celine Dion Foundation Pledges $2 Million For Fight Against Autoimmune Neurology

Celine Dion’s charity has pledged $2 million in the ongoing fight against Autoimmune Neurology.

With that funding, the Celine Dion Foundation will establish the Celine Dion Foundation Endowed Chair in Autoimmune Neurology, with Amanda Piquet, MD, FAAN, director of the Autoimmune Neurology Program at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, named as the inaugural chair holder.

This “significant gift,” reads a statement, will provide financial support for students, research expenditures, participation in conferences, curriculum development and other initiatives prioritized by Piquet, and will bolster the specialist’s focus on translational studies. 

Dion, who was diagnosed with the rare autoimmune and neurological disorder Stiff-Person Syndrome in 2022, announced the financial support Monday during the premiere of her forthcoming documentary, I Am: Celine Dion.

While the symptoms of the chronic disorder began appearing in the mid-2000s, they got progressively worse, until Dion made the announcement in Dec. 2022 that she’d been diagnosed with the incurable ailment that caused her to cancel a planned tour that year.

In an emotional NBC special which aired last week, Dion described being gripped by fear when the disorder’s symptoms began to affect her in 2008, affecting her mobility and causing spasms so intense they caused broken ribs and sometimes made it feel like “somebody is strangling you.”

The powerhouse Canadian vocalist has not performed on stage since March 2020, but the door is not closed on a return to the stage.

In a separate interview for Quebec’s TVA, Dion discussed why she went public with her ordeal. “My fans deserve to know what’s going on,” she says. “They have given me and my family an exceptional life since the age of 12, [and now I’m 56]. I am not going to let them down.”

I Am: Céline Dion is directed by Irene Taylor, and available worldwide from June 25 on Prime Video.

By Michael

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