Leah Messer-Calvert of the MTV reality show "Teen Mom 2" has learned that her 4-year-old daughter Aliannah, whose developmental disorder was previously undiagnosed, is suffering from a rare and incurable form of muscular dystrophy.
"The disorder affects her respiratory system and progresses the older she gets," Messer-Calvert, 21, told In Touch magazine in an interview. "The bigger she gets and the more weight she gains, the harder it'll be for her muscles to carry the weight," generally necessitating the use of a wheelchair.
"We were scared because we didn't know what her future was going to look like, but we always pushed for answers," said Messer-Calvert, who has another daughter, Aliannah's twin, Aleeah, with ex-husband Corey Simms. She has a third, 11-month-old Addalynn, with her pipeline engineer husband, Jeremy Calvert, 24. The two, who live in Elkview, W.Va., married in Catlettsburg, Ky., in April 2012.
"Ali's condition has brought us all extremely close together," Messer-Calvert told the magazine. "We have to stay strong for Ali, and things are going good."
Aliannah's condition is a focus of the "Teen Mom 2" season that premiered Tuesday night.
"We never gave up, and we never will," said Messer-Calvert, who according to her website is a part-time dental assistant taking online courses through Mountain State University, though her Facebook page describes her as "full-time mommy" since December 2009. "We'll do everything we can to make sure Ali has the life that she needs."