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Muscular Dystrophy Specialist Tells All On Leah Messer’s Daughter Ali’s Condition

Leah Messer broke down over her daughter Ali’s battle with Muscular Dystrophy, claiming the 8-year-old is “deteriorating” from the disease. A specialist, who has not treated the Teen Mom 2 child, is giving more details on MD exclusively to

On the reunion special, Messer, 26, explained how her daughter “continues to get weaker” and will “probably” need home care one day.

“The hardest part is her physically deteriorating and knowing these things are happening to her,” Messer explained. “You don’t know what to expect or when to expect what’s going to happen, but you know something is going to happen.”

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Jill Frauenheim, MS, CGC, a Genetic Counselor at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, explained how Limb-Girdle Muscular Dystrophy with a Titin Gene Mutation could cause “weakness of muscles.”

“The weakness starts in areas closest to the shoulders, upper arms, hips and thighs,” Frauenheim explained. “Those that have muscular weakness, even the severity of that can vary. Some kids with this, they learn to walk and remain walking over the age of 20. Others are more severe and start needing additional help between 10 and 20.”

Frauenheim explained that while respiratory issues occur because of weakness of diaphragm muscles, which Ali suffered from throughout the season, patients could have heart issues as well.

Heart problems and muscle weakness are the two major symptoms,” she explained.

On previous seasons, Messer feared Ali developed MD because she was “squished” in her stomach when she gave birth to her and twin daughter Aleeah on 16 & Pregnant. But Frauenheim claims that is not the case.

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“With genetic conditions, alcohol, drug, injury, restriction of movement, that does not affect the baby,” she explained. “It’s in no way to her being a twin and squished.”

Life expectancy with the condition depends on the severity.

“We’ve seen people live into their 50s or 60s, with others into their 20s,” Frauenheim explained. “It comes down to how severe or mild that person is presenting.”

On earlier seasons of Teen Mom 2, Messer and her husband Corey Simms disagreed over how often Ali should use her wheel chair.

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“We don’t want them to get overly exhausted where they can’t do everything for the rest of the day,” she explained. “We don’t want her to run and fall and hurt herself. I think the biggest thing is staying active when they can. If they need to sit down then take a break. You want to push them, but not too much. In general activity is good within a certain amount.”

Ali isn’t alone, as the Muscular Dystrophy Association provides support groups for individuals with any type of MD, including camps for kids.

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