Daughter of TV’s ‘Teen Mom 2′ Diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy
Feb 19, 2014
Who would have thought a reality show could bring muscular dystrophy awareness to millions? Few series in the history of reality television have been quite as controversial as MTV’s Teen Mom. Not surprisingly, the series has come under fire from critics for glamorizing teen pregnancy and being responsible for a rise in the teen pregnancy epidemic by girls who think they might be able to get on the show.
On the other end of the spectrum, the often raw presentation of the difficulties that the teenage mothers face has been praised as a potential roadblock to future teen pregnancies—girls see that being a mom is not all cuteness, fun and games, and that many teens may not be up to the challenge.
A recent revelation by one of the stars of Teen Mom 2 has hammered that home even more.
In an interview with InTouch magazine, teen mom Leah Messer has revealed that her 4-year-old daughter Aliannah has been diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. The diagnosis comes after years of wondering about the nature of Aliannah’s developmental difficulties and is both devastating and comforting at the same time.
“We were scared because we didn’t know what her future was going to look like, but we always pushed for answers,” Leah says. “We never gave up, and we never will. We’ll do everything we can to make sure Ali has the life that she needs.”
She goes on to say, “The disorder affects her respiratory system and progresses the older she gets. The bigger she gets and the more weight she gains, the harder it’ll be for her muscles to carry the weight.”
Currently Aliannah is able to walk, but as she gets older and the disease progresses, she will eventually be confined to a wheelchair. To prepare for future difficulties, Leah and her current husband are planning to sell their dream home in order to move into a smaller home that will be more convenient insofar as disability accessibility goes.
Though divorced from Aliannah’s father Corey Simms, Leah has seen Corey become an amazing source of support for his daughters. “Ali’s condition has brought us all extremely close together,” she says. “We have to stay strong for Ali, and things are going good.”
The new season of Teen Mom will focus on Aliannah’s diagnosis and the hardships the family faces moving forward, as well as their strength in overcoming the obstacles. Despite television clips showing fierce arguments between Leah and her current husband Jeremy during which Jeremy threatens divorce, Leah says that their relationship has never been stronger. (To create conflict for more interesting television, almost all reality shows are scripted to some degree.)
“We both know we’d never get a divorce,” she says. “Both of us are too happy.” Indeed, she and Jeremy welcomed their new daughter Addalynn to the family just last year.
Watch the video to see how Aliannah’s family initially reacted to the diagnosis. What advice would you give them?