CELINE DION FOUNDATION PLEDGES $2M FOR MEDICAL RESEARCH

The Celine Dion Foundation has pledged $2m to establish an endowed chair in autoimmune neurology at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.

Dion announced the gift yesterday (6/17) at the premiere of a new Amazon MGM documentary, I AM: Celine Dion, at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. The film, directed by Irene Taylor, chronicles the singer’s experiences with stiff person syndrome (SPS), a rare neurological and autoimmune disorder that causes muscular stiffness and inhibits the ability to walk or sing.

I AM: Celine Dion premieres 6/25 on Prime Video.

Amanda Piquet, MD, FAAN, director of the university’s Autoimmune Neurology Program, will be the inaugural chair holder. Piquet “has replaced my fear with hope,” Dion said.

The Dion Foundation’s donation will fund Dr. Piquet’s research on translational studies, which emphasizes learning in real time from patients as they experience and recover from symptoms so as to fine-tune treatments for improved outcomes. It will also provide financial support for other initiatives prioritized by the chair holder.

Dion announced her diagnosis in December 2022, when she postponed her imminent Courage tour.

“This movie is my love letter to each of you,” she told the audience after the screening. “I hope to see you all again very, very soon.”

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