‘Teen Mom 2’ Star Leah Messer Gives Update on Her Daughter Ali’s Battle with Muscular Dystrophy

Teen Mom 2 fans have watched Leah Messer‘s twins grow up, and followed along as one of the twins, Ali, was diagnosed with a very rare form of Muscular Dystrophy in 2014. Since then, fans have seen Ali and Leah struggle to deal with the emotional and physical effects of the condition, with Ali– who is now 12– being seen regularly at a children’s hospital in Ohio by her trusty physician, Dr. Tsao.

On Thursday, Leah posted an update on Ali’s condition, following her bi-annual checkup with Dr. Tsao. Leah reported that the type of MD that Ali has— Titin Myopathy– is no longer as rare as it was when Ali was diagnosed. (At the time of her diagnosis, there were only 20 known cases in the world. Ali was the first child to be diagnosed with it.)

“[There are] 700+ of her type of MD now,” Leah posted.

As for Ali– who has used an electric wheelchair over the years to assist her with her mobility—Leah reported that her recent participation in horseback riding has greatly improved her health and strength.

“An update from Ali’s MD appt yesterday! All great things- He sees more of an improvement than he ever has, mind & body,” Leah wrote on Instagram. “He said what he sees is remarkable because she seems a lot stronger… He gave a lot of credit to her love, hard work and dedication to reaching horseback riding goals that she sets for herself.

“Reflex is still the same but strength is better- pulmonary is better- weight and growth chart is better than it has ever been. He even asked to take a photo with her.  We love Dr. Tsao and are so grateful for his practices and guidance over the years. Keep working hard and staying dedicated Ali girl. We love you and are so proud of you! A special thanks to all of you who believe in and support my girl.”

“Finding an activity that fueled her has made a big difference,” Leah wrote in a posted text.

During the ‘Teen Mom 2’ Reunion that aired in August 2021, Leah opened up to hosts Dr. Drew Pinsky and Nessa about Ali’s condition and the battle she’s been fighting to help her daughter.

“Guys this has been a hell of a 12 years… for treatment and a cure…” Leah said. “If they had us stop looking for a diagnosis, I would never be 12 years into it, we’re finding a cure in research.”

Dr. Drew also spoke about the change in Ali’s prognosis, given new findings.

“The doctor was changing her prognosis a bit, because they now have a bigger cohort with her rare genetic, specific problem, right?” he asked Leah.

During a video appointment with Dr. Tsao that was shown last season, the doctor noted that there were now hundreds of patients with the same type of MD that Ali has, and many of those patients are living much longer lives than what Leah was originally told to expect for Ali.

“And they’ve found that many patients like Aliannah’s situation with no heart or lung involvement can live into their seventies at least. That is very good information for you to know,” the doctor said.

Last season, Leah talked about how the low average life expectancy for some MD patients has worried her and Ali’s father, Corey Simms.

“I think Ali understands her disease a lot better than she used to. And, Ali’s life expectancy is something I don’t ever want her to worry about. But, deep down, it was something that was a weight for me and her dad,” Leah said. “We didn’t know how progressive the disease would be and how quickly it would happen. But with discovering more cases, it gives me hope for my little girl. I feel like we can look further into her future. It does bring us hope.”

RELATED STORY: ‘Teen Mom 2’ Star Leah Messer Confesses She Had “No Chemistry” with Ex-Husbands Corey Simms & Jeremy Calvert; Says She’s Open to Marrying Jaylan Mobley

(Photos: MTV; Instagram)

19 Responses

  1. This made me very happy to read. You can see when she walks that things have only improved. That is amazing that horseback riding has brought her happiness AND helped her with her MD. I know people like to Snark on Leah and yes, she’s done some questionable things and not always made the best choices- however, I DO believe she absolutely loves her girls and has always tried to do the best for them. I have twin boys that are 9 and they have ADHD and sensory issues and it’s honestly really difficult- but it isn’t as strenuous mentally and not at all physically- as MD. I cannot imagine how hard it is for Leah and Corey, and especially Ali. This is just Great news!

  2. No snark on Ali, ever. I am so happy that she is improving so much! Leah’s tenacity and support made it possible for Ali to get good, consistent care and get so much better! (Corey too!). We’re all cheering for you, Ali! For real!!

  3. This is great news for Ali!

    Leah has lived a very difficult life (some of it due to her own poor choices), but it’s always been very obvious how much she loves those girls and her fight to get Ali a diagnosis was something I think everyone could admire about her. Being a teen parent to twins is hard under any circumstances, but then when one has a debilitating illness? Unimaginable.

    If there is one positive thing to come out of TM, it’s that Leah had the resources to take better care of Ali, and Leah herself had access to the best rehab for herself when she needed help and she could get back to taking good care of those girls. Yes, Corey is a good dad, but there’s something a little tougher about that mama who refuses to give up.

  4. I love that we’re all here for the snark but everyone is genuinely so happy for Ali and this good news ❤️

  5. For any person to have a disabled child (and with a rare form of a disease) is hard. Imagine being a teen parent of twins and one of them has Ali’s condition! I think Leah and Corey are admirable, both great parents. And Jeremy helped a lot when he was married to Leah and I think he still cares about Ali and Aleah. I’m glad MTV money was used in this case to help her with her health and not for the mother to waste it on plastic surgeries

  6. I’ve watched Ali on TM2 since she was a baby. Good for her for enjoying horses & horse riding to combat her diagnosis. Ali is definitely not defined by MD, she’s the sweetest lil angel.

    (I know we bag the TM’s about MTV paying them to not work, in this instance I’m happy that Leah uses those funds for this activity for all her daughters. Without MTV I doubt she could afford this for the girlseses).

  7. yay ali!! i was so scared to read this article but i’m so glad she’s doing better and hopefully she doesn’t feel alone. i also hope that she knows that there’s so many fans that are happy to hear these news and that we’re rooting for her!

  8. This is actually great news to hear! I don’t usually like talking about the kids personal battles unless they support sharing their stories.

    I’m genuinely happy for Ali, I remember how devastated both families were when they found out. Relieved for all of them and wish them many happy years to come

  9. Ali is absolutely precious. Being a kid is hard enough but she has such resilience and strength to endure what she has. I am so happy for Ali! I wish her nothing but health and happiness.

  10. MD runs in my family. Different type than Ali’s, of course, but it is good to hear she has such a great prognosis. My uncle wasn’t expected to live passed his teens and he lived until his late 40s. My dad is nearly 70 and alive though MD has taken so much from him. He can barely stand and a common cold could be fatal. It’s a rough diagnosis.

    1. It runs in my family also. My aunt and cousin have a more mild case and live relatively normal lives. While my mom has a much more severe case. She’s in her 60’s and has very little mobility left. She can’t stand or walk without a walker or something to lean on and needs help with almost basic daily activities. A common cold can be fatal for her as well. It’s awful to see the decline over the years but I’m thankful for the things she’s still able to do.

      1. Yes! My dad is in a scooter. The most of his mobility is moving from his bed to his scooter or his scooter to his chair. I remember going horseback riding, camping, and skiing with him. But, I’m so glad he gets to see his grandkids and they will be spending time with him in the summer.

        1. She has a scooter to for “just in case” she needs it but she only needs to about 20ft or so to get to the bedroom or bathroom so she doesn’t quite need it yet (she’s very stubborn) but I know that day isn’t far off.

          That’s great your dad is able to spend time with the grandkids! I feel like it makes a difference with my mom. The woman can’t even lift a gallon but she can scoot a 30+lb toddler up on her lap lol. I’m sure it drains her energy to do it though but she loves it.

  11. Usually I come here to talk hella $hit. But I’m just so happy by this news. Why a miracle!!! She is a strong little girl. Good job, Ali! You rock! A true inspiration to all MD warriors. ???

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