Teen Mom 2 star Leah Messer welcomed two of her three children into the world, twins Aleeah Grace and Aliannah Hope, when she was 17 years old.
One of the twins, Alianna, “Ali,” was born with a form of muscular dystrophy. Now that Ali is eight years old, Leah is starting to open up about her condition.
Leah first began to realize that Ali was not developing quite like her twin sister when she appeared on “16 and Pregnant” years ago.
It was eventually revealed that Ali was diagnosed with a rare form of Titin’s Muscular Dystrophy, a genetic disease. According to CureCMD, Titin’s Muscular Dystrophy is:
A mutation of the TTN gene deletes certain amino acids and replaces them with other amino acids at the end of the titin protein. This causes weakness and wasting of the skeletal muscles particularly the shoulders, hips and limbs. Onset begins in childhood and severe disability can occur within 20 years. Loss of ambulation can occur between third and sixth decade.
Leah and her ex-husband Cory have done their best to raise Ali the same way they are raising her sisters— they want to show her that she can do anything despite living with muscular dystrophy.
However, as the most recent episode of Teen Mom 2 revealed, as Aliannah gets older, her condition is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore.
Leah said she and Cory received a phone call from Aliannah’s teacher when the eight-year-old began having trouble staying awake in class and on the bus ride home from school:
“I got a call from Ali’s teacher today that she’s not feeling good, she’s falling asleep in class, she says her legs and arms are tingling, that she is hurting all over. I’ve been getting her off the school bus and she’s been passed out. I’m not talking about you know how you lay your head back on the back on your way home from school, no, they are like, ‘Ali, Ali, Ali.’ It takes them like five or 10 minutes to get her off the bus. She has drool.
The kid goes to bed at 7:30. She’s getting at least nine to 10 hours of sleep a night, because she wakes up at five. She’s been getting plenty of sleep. I feel like she’s really struggling. Even at their birthday party, she couldn’t play in the jumping thing as much as she usually would. She can barely get up the three steps on my porch.”
Leah said the situation is “scary”:
“I don’t know, there is just a lot of sh*t happening all at once with her and it’s scary. It’s scary.”
Ali has a wheelchair that she can use when she needs it, but the little go-getter isn’t a fan of it. Leah doesn’t want her daughter to push herself too hard for fear it will hurt her in the long run, but she also wants Ali to have as many memories of her running around as she can.
During a conversation, Leah and Cory both showed a lot of concern for what their daughter’s future may hold.
Sadly, Ali’s type of muscular dystrophy is very rare, so doctors aren’t able to answer many of the questions Ali’s parents have about her health.
For now, until some of those questions are answered, Leah and Cory are going to do their best to give Ali as normal of a childhood as they can.