With a new season of Teen Mom 2 underway, fans are understandably eager to find out the latest developments in the lives of their favorite young mothers.
And perhaps no one has demonstrated more growth in recent months than Leah Messer.
Words like “troubled” have frequently been used to describe Leah over the years.
But to the delight of many viewers, the mother of three appears to be on the verge of turning things around.
Earlier this year, Leah published a memoir in which she spoke with admirable candor about the abuse and other hardships that she faced during childhood.
In recent interviews, Messer has admitted to struggling with opioid addiction, a fact that she previously denied for several years.
Leah has said that speaking out about these long-buried secrets has helped her along the path toward healing.
But just because Leah’s life is on the upswing, that doesn’t mean she’s no longer facing her fair share of obstacles.
First and foremost among those challenges are the health issues faced by Ali Simms, Leah’s 10-year-old daughter from her brief marriage to Corey Simms.
Ali suffers from a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy, which has affected everything from her mobility to her eyesight.
Fans have watched with broken hearts as her twin sister, Aleeah, has excelled in athletic pursuits such as cheerleading, while Ali has remained confined to a wheelchair.
In the past, there have been times when Leah seemed hesitant to go into detail about Ali’s condition.
Maybe she didn’t want to make the girl feel that she was different from other children — or perhaps the subject was simply too painful to talk about.
Whatever the case, it appears as though Leah has resolved to open up more about Ali’s struggle in the hope that by doing so, she might serve as an inspiration to other moms who are raising children with disabilities.
Leah recently explained that her daughter suffers from “one of the more rare forms of MD” called Limb-girdle Muscular Dystrophy with TTN mutation.
In her recently-published book, Leah said that she “knew the moment Ali was born” that she suffered from some sort of ailment.
“For the first three years of Ali’s life, I felt like I was holding my breath. We continue to learn more about her diagnosis through the years,” Leah wrote.
“We don’t know what to expect from day to day but continue to make the best of every day without losing hope,” she added.
Leah was careful to note that raising a child with different needs is not all heartbreak.
In fact, it seems the experience has been filled with unexpected triumphs.
“She gets excited about the little things that we often take for granted. Recently she learned how to button her jeans and was so proud of her accomplishment,” Messer wrote in her memoir.
“I cried. I cried because I’m happy for her. I cried because it really is the small things in life that we take for granted,” she added.
“She continues to inspire me. I’m so grateful to be her mama!”
Of course, these days, Leah is open about the hard times, as well as the good.
“There was a day last week that Ali had a rough day, simply trying to understand why she had Muscular Dystrophy.” she recently wrote on Instagram.
“She didn’t comprehend why her sisters were reaching milestones that she wasn’t able to,” Leah added.
It seems the source of the girl’s frustration was the knowledge that she may never be able to run and play with her sisters.
“She just wanted to do something that brought her joy and made her feel included,” Messer wrote.
“She just wanted to be able to ride a bike and run with her sisters,” she continued.
“She wanted to be able to do these things without it being too hard and getting hurt.”
Leah, being the stellar mom that she is, arranged for Ali to have a one-on-one workout session with Aleeah’s cheer coach.
“Today she is smiling from ear to ear as her sisters cheered her on during a one on one private with @sarajha21,” Leah captioned a photo from the session.
“Ali’s hope and determination through all circumstances always inspire me.”
We’d love to say that Ali’s condition is improving, and it’s sure to get better as the years go by — but sadly, that’s not the case.
What is certain is that she will continue to inspire her mother, her sisters, and millions of Teen Mom 2 fans with her courage and resilience.