Leah Messer Impresses the Hell Out of Me; Rare Mom Triumph

Leah with husband Jeremy and three daughters, including Ali.

Leah with husband Jeremy and three daughters, including Ali.

For those of you who have followed the saga of Teen Mom 2 and read this blog, you’re probably the most interested in Leah’s story.

Leah was one of those 16 & Pregnant stars who struck the double unlucky lightening lottery and wound up with twins during her first pregnancy! And even though she’s had her relationship ups and downs– I have to say that there has probably never been a reality star who I have cheered harder for in the last ten years than this girl.

It was clear after her twins were born that Leah was a natural parent. Her babies, who are now little girls, are high-energy. A few months after she was born, her daughter, Ali, started developing unusual symptoms that spurred Leah and then-husband Corey to take her to a specialist. It’s been a harrowing few seasons watching Leah try to keep her daughter’s life as normal as possible as her twin sister excelled and she began having more and more issues with her development. It’s the nightmare that all moms of kids with rare diseases go through: what’s wrong with her? Why can’t anyone just tell me? What am I supposed to do while we wait for an answer? Is it something I did wrong?

I remember a few seasons back there was one episode where Leah was sitting in a restaurant with her mother, crying and wondering out loud if the reason Ali was sick was because she didn’t have enough room in her belly when she was pregnant, because she was so young.

Well, that scene brought me to tears and tonight’s scene as her and Corey listened to Ali’s geneticist tell them that Ali’s genome sequencing returned results saying she had a rare Titin Gene mutation–one of only 20 or so known case in the world–brought out the waterworks too.

Ali with Titan Gene Mutation

Ali with Titin Gene Mutation

The episode came at a personally unsettling time for me as I finally heard back some news from Baylor University and Texas Children’s Hospital where they are conducting my own genome sequencing. My genetic counselor has said that they found a lead, but wanted more information on my IVIG treatment over the last few years. The uncertainty, excitement, hope and even dread about my potential results is something I hardly ever thought I’d see mirrored back at me on an MTV show–but there it was.

So to the Teen Mom haters out there, you should keep your mouths tightly shut on this one. This family has clearly been through hell and back–and had just about every reason to implode.

Instead Leah and Corey both remarried–and to partners who made the long (and I’m sure anxiety-filled) trek by their side to Ali’s doctor appointments over the last few seasons. They banded together to do what was best for Ali and at the end of the episode sat down together –a family of four united parents–to talk about how they could make their daughter’s life easier, knowing now what she’s up against.

So, bravo, Leah and family. I’m relieved you got the answers you needed but even more relieved to know that there’s another kid out there growing up rare with a family who is in support of her. Frankly, that makes all the difference in the world.

Did you watch the Teen Mom 2 finale episode? What do you think of Leah’s journey towards a diagnosis for her daughter?

 

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