Teen Mom 2’s Leah Calvert’s daughter Ali Simms may become wheelchair bound

Leah Calvert's Daughter Ali Simms

UPDATE: Ali Has been diagnosed with a rare form of muscular dystrophy.

Leah Calvert has struggled to learn what’s ailing adorable Ali Simms for the past few years, which fans of Teen Mom 2 have watched play out on screen. Last spring, Leah and ex-husband Corey Simms seemed to get some long-awaited answers about Ali’s mysterious health problem. Unfortunately, it seems Ali’s condition has only deteriorated in the time since.

“Things went from bad to worse with Ali and it turns out that she could have to be in a wheelchair soon,” a source close the family told Radar Online, adding Leah and husband Jeremy Calvert decided to move to a wheelchair accessible home after learning the news. “They are also planning on getting a place that allows horses because that will be part of Ali’s therapy.”

The source didn’t go into specifics about Ali’s condition, only saying it was “some sort of mitochondrial disease” that will worsen. That must be particularly devastating for Leah and her family, as they have hoped Ali would be able to walk without assistance.

Teen Mom 2 Leah Messer and her twin daughters Aliannah and Aleeah
“Ali has been doing therapy for a few years now and seemed to be improving, however, from what the doctor told the family at Ali’s big doctor appointment in July, her disorder will just keep getting worse,” the source said.

Although Leah hasn’t addressed any specific developments with Ali’s health, she did allude to some challenges this summer via Twitter.

Leah’s former father-in-law also tweeted about the family’s fresh pain after a doctor’s appointment in July.

After that, Leah confirmed she and Jeremy made the difficult decision to move the family into a new house.

It would be understandable for Leah and her family to focusing on Ali’s handicaps, considering they just want to learn how to best address them and help the sweet little girl succeed. However, the family maintains an incredible “glass half full” attitude.

The public is sure to learn more about what’s ailing Ali (and how she’s working to overcome odds) during the upcoming fifth season of Teen Mom 2.

web analytics

  • Laura

    aww, poor kid! She will overcome the obstacles whether it be the way the family wants them to go or not. :/ They seem to be strong and have their head in the right place at least. Hopefully their little girl will prove those doctors wrong and be able to walk at some point in her life!

    • Pheebz

      Ali WAS able to walk without assistance. Jeff Simms, Corey’s dad, regularly tweets pictures of the girls. He has posted several of Ali walking unaided.

  • An idiot doctor

    Unless she’s decompensating now, it seems very dramatic to focus on something that hasn’t happened YET and may not ever happen. The wonderful thing about children, life and medicine is that there are always new discoveries. Doctors rarely know what will happen in the future with accuracy — unless it is in the immediate future and the patient is already overtly symptomatic. If she isn’t getting worse, it seems really fatalistic to focus on a disability that hasn’t happened…and if she is getting worse, is it really necessary to sell your house and be so dramatic about it? I realize it’s sad news but NOTHING is guaranteed and doctors are not god.

    • sami

      I agree that doctors are not God and that the future for Ali is completely up in the air but if I were given the news Leah and her family has received, I would probably react the same way. I don’t exactly think she’s over reacting, just expressing her concerns for the future of her child. By moving, she’s preparing for the worst but I’m sure still hoping for the best. I feel for this family and any family that has been dealt these cards. God be with them.

    • Brittany

      Doctors are not god? Doctors save more lives than I’ve seen any god save. Doctors perform miracles everyday with the help of their staff. People don’t get credit, only a god does, it seems.

      • Wren

        Correct, doctors are NOT God! I don’t know anyone who worships doctors. Sami’s not saying that the doctors don’t deserve any credit. You obviously have a different belief system, which is fine but chill out. Geez

      • justme

        God guides the doctor’s hands.

        • unicornhearts

          What’s he waiting for then?

      • unicornhearts

        There are many more they can’t or don’t save.

    • Amber

      What an ignorant comment. After years of searching for answers and holding on to hope they received devastating news and want to prepare for her future. And it is happening, she had made some progress then hit a plateau. Maybe find some compassion within yourself…

    • anjealka

      Leah has had selective hearing in the past when it comes to doctors visits. I always thought she needed some sort of nurse advocate with her on appointments that would help her digest the information she gets. My son has autism and our insurance provides a nurse that helps discuss options and treatments and explains complex reports. She has focused on the worst case in the past. She needs to take some time off from the cameras, her tanning job(or starting a business) and learn about the condition(s). It seems like she wants it all, but sometimes when you get a dx for your child you need to take time off from what is not 100% necessary and focus on the treatment plan and educate your. When my child was dx with autism I had a my dream corporate legal position and I could have hired a nanny or paid for any kind of treatments. People were shocked when I left work altogether for 2 years to become my child’s advocate. I spent hours researching, talking to other parents, and even went back and later got another graduate degree with an autism certificate. Even though I never got my dream job back, 13 years later my child is doing great so those 2 years were the best investment I could have ever made in my child’s future.

      • Leigh Suza

        Bless you for the sacrifices you made for your child. I believe different personalities handle information completely differently. I was also in the legal field and feel maybe our brains are very analytical so we’re able to separate our emotions very quickly from the facts. We probably act more quickly than personalities who have a harder time making that separation. I think I come across to some people as being harsh because the way I think is so analytical
        but I love my children as much as anybody.

    • Leigh Suza

      Since my brother, father, and my children have a genetic neuromuscular disorder I feel slightly qualified to address your opinions. I don’t know Leah but what I’ve seen is that she is facing the reality of her daughter’s condition. I do not think she is demonstrating a fatalistic attitude at all.

      Once my brother was diagnosed with a genetic neuromuscular disorder at age 13 my parents never spoke about it again. They did nothing to provide him with therapy or to prepare him emotionally for the fact he would be in a wheelchair some day. He ended up being an emotional wreck as an adult once he had no choice but to surrender to his wheelchair. Leah is doing exactly what she should do to provide therapy for Ali, teach her to embrace her disability, and prepare her to be all she can be as an adult.

      If you educate yourself about neuromuscular disorders you will see medical progress is extremely slow in this field. Since my brother was diagnosed in 1977 there has been little to no progression with his particular disorder or other neuromuscular disorders for that matter. There have been leaps and bounds in cancer treatments during these years. Sadly, not so with neuromuscular disorders.

      You said Leah is focusing on something that hasn’t happened yet. Yes it has. Ali was born with a disorder and it’s very likely her family has already seen a decline in her condition. The fact is, Ali likely won’t improve significantly if at all without huge medical advances. If Ali has a neuromuscular disorder, the best thing to do is to provide her with the means to strengthen the muscles she has that still work for as long as they will work. If they have the means to move to an environment that will be more conducive to providing that treatment in the form of riding horses or a swimming pool for therapy that’s what they should do.

      And, as I’ve watched Ali, I’ve felt she was overtly symptomatic for a very long time. Maybe it’s more noticeable to me than the general public because what I’ve seen in Ali is so familiar to me due to the number of my family members who have disorders. I’m not wanting to make statements about Ali’s diagnosis, only to shed some light on the facts of neuromuscular disorders in general. Sitting in judgement or making assumptions about Leah is just plain silly. Until you’ve lived this life you simply don’t know what it’s like.

      Sorry for the length of this post but I’m speaking about something that is personal to me and something I have an abundance of empathy about.

      • An IDIOT doctor who knows

        You’re talking to a MD. No one knows the future. Doctors make informed guesses AT BEST. Leah has, based on what’s been presented, been slow to respond to obvious problems and then has been overly negative and unable to advocate properly for her child. She desires definitive ANSWERS in a situation that has none. Her desire for a definite outcome (will Ali be better or worse?) drives her need to act, and can impact her child. It’s usually best to treat the PATIENT based on their SYMPTOMS, not based on their DIAGNOSIS OR LAB WORK (people who have horrible, apparently unsubibable labs and other conditions can be walking and talking–it doesn’t mean we should ACT LIKE they’re already dead or presume they will die). That’s the point. It’s not about denial (as has happened in your family) but responding appropriately to the situation rather than making assumptions based on BEST GUESSES made by the medical profession (that, by the way, may not even have a correct diagnosis!).

    • spottedgiraffe

      The article said things are already getting worse for Ali.

    • burkey

      You sound very ignorant. Leah and her family have been as positive as they can be given the circumstance. And given the symptoms Ali shows and the results they have found throughout all the testing, it is pretty clear that Ali has a progressive disorder. Progressive disorders DON’T get better. They may move slowly or lack progression for short periods of time but you cannot stop them happening and ignoring them is not an answer. And in the case of progressive disorders, doctors actually VERY OFTEN know what will happen in the future. How do you know she isn’t getting worse? Because you see her on tv? Do you live with her on a daily basis? Are you able to watch her progression or lack there of from day to day? No, so you really have no place to say how she’s doing or how her family should address what is going on. If being in a wheelchair is a real possibility, which it very likely is, than why would moving into a house that will be accessible for her dramatic? You’re ridiculous, go away.

  • awoman

    It would be hard for any mother to get this news. I’m glad that Leah is always willing to take all the steps necessary for Ali’s treatment. I’m sure the girls will love owning horses and that they will find happiness with their new lives.

  • marie castro


    • Leigh Suza

      Second opinions are always good but the doctor Ali saw, Dr. Tsao, is a very competent neurologist in Columbus, Ohio. I know because my children with a genetic disorder were treated by him when they were younger.

    • Danielle O’Brien

      2nd opinions wont always gt you an answer. My son is almost 8 and has sen genetics since he was about 3 and they have tested for so many things and always comes back negative. So this year i got a 2nd opinion fro a different genetics doctor at my local children hospital. All i received from my 2nd opinion doc was he believes my son is suffering from some syndrome and he has no answers and there for perhaps no one else in the world has it. I was hoping after seeking a new dc that i would get some sort of answer but was left with more questions then answers.

  • mommyof2

    I hope they have faith that things will work out and God does perform miracles everyday. I’ve watched Leah’s journey from 16 and pregnant and cried right along with her then my youngest daughter was born with hearing loss they said was irreversible but is past July God gave my daughter Gabrielle a miracle and her hearing loss reversed. So I hope they just keep faith pray to God and put her on prayer lists at churches. Nation Wide Children’s Hospital of Columbus Ohio is great I know Ali is in good hands there. Also I hope she reaches out to other moms of children with medical problems she need to talk to people outside her family circle and not keep everything bottled inside that will only make matter worse for her health.

  • anjealka

    I hope Ali gets the best care and Leah will focus on her therapy. I spend some of my day in a wheelchair an it is something you have to accept. For several years I didn’t ant to leave my house. I would rather sit on the couch and teach my kids and not have to admit I needed a wheelchair. Yes not being able to run into a grocery store and grab milk like some moms and leave is annoying but I have realized there are much worse things then using a wheelchair. I might take flack for this but Leah had unprotected sex and had 2 kids. Deciding to have kids means you are accepting anything, any condition. I hope Leah will wake up and not have any more kids for awhile concentrate on Ali. I also think she should be out there talking to teens, because her story of having a child with possible lifelong needs is a possibility of teen pregnancy and a lot of teen moms would not have so many loving grandparents and the money that Leah has to take care of her child. Leah should consider herself lucky to have the ability to pay for treatment, and so many caring family and friends to help her. She needs to “grieve” the dx and then get positive. I wasted 2 years being sad and angry that I could have been out in my wheelchair living life.

  • sammy

    I think it’s a shame some close “friend” of the family would sell out a 3 year-old to get some extra pocket money. Yes, I know she’s on TV and therefore privacy is almost a joke, but Leah and her family have never openly discussed Ali’s condition in years, and I think it was more due to their respect of Ali than some contract that it was never brought up.

  • twelfthnight

    I seriously hope Leah does not have any more kids, and that Corey doesn’t go have a whole barnful either. Ali needs a full time support team and she already has two other sisters, one who is still a tot. That takes so much away from her already, more kids would just be putting her in a corner.

    I can assume these kids probably will not have insurance so care and treatment will probably be a whack of money that after TM2 gets cancelled will not be rolling in like it is now…

    • sammy

      Corey has medical insurance for Ali. He made it clear to Leah the only reason he didn’t go to every single appointment was because if he did, he would lose his job and they wouldn’t have the money/insurance to pay for the appointments in the first place.

      • twelfthnight

        Thank goodness for that, Corey seems far more mature than Leah and that’s a stroke of luck for those kids.

  • o.O

    I realize this is irrelevant, but is it just me or does Leah look creepy/scary in that pic?

  • Lara

    She looks like Leah in the first photo. So cute.

  • Louise

    At least Ali has a great mother and family. Can you imagine if she was Farrah’s child?

  • oh no

    i can’t sleep, so i decided to do some digging on wikipedia….

    i couldn’t find a comprehensive list of all mitrochondrial diseases (leah mentioned that was ali’s problem), but i looked into everything i did find on wikipedia, the nih, etc. to me, it seems like ali has leigh syndrome. of course, this is all theory.

    leigh syndrome, from the nih:

    “Leigh syndrome is a severe neurological disorder that typically arises in the first year of life. This condition is characterized by progressive loss of mental and movement abilities (psychomotor regression) and typically results in death within a couple of years, usually due to respiratory failure. A small number of individuals develop symptoms in adulthood or have symptoms that worsen more slowly.

    The first signs of Leigh syndrome seen in infancy are usually vomiting, diarrhea, and difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) that leads to eating problems. These problems often result in an inability to grow and gain weight at the expected rate (failure to thrive). Severe muscle and movement problems are common in Leigh syndrome. Affected individuals may develop weak muscle tone (hypotonia), involuntary muscle contractions (dystonia), and problems with movement and balance (ataxia). Loss of sensation and weakness in the limbs (peripheral neuropathy), common in people with Leigh syndrome, may also make movement difficult.

    Several other features may occur in people with Leigh syndrome. Many affected individuals develop weakness or paralysis of the muscles that move the eyes (ophthalmoparesis); rapid, involuntary eye movements (nystagmus); or degeneration of the nerves that carry information from the eyes to the brain (optic atrophy).”

    • kmw

      This is why your not a doctor… Ali does not have any mental deterioration, she is obviously an incredibly bright child. She has a rare form of muscular dystrophy

  • Needy P.D.

    God never gives more than you can handle, keep being positive

  • spottedgiraffe

    I’m no doctor but will injecting steroids or stem cells not help this? It’s so sad there has to be a way. Poor Ali

  • TalynGrace

    Poor little girl 🙁 I think Leah is doing an awesome job making sure she has the most normal life that she can. Its good to see 🙂

  • jjeksirb

    Based on the many children I’ve worked with over the years, she appears to suffer from SMA (spinal muscular atrophy), most likely type 2.

  • Sandy Anderson

    Mitochondrial disease information can be found at UMDF or Mitoaction. There is no cure and few real treatment options. Mito is a progressive multi system disease that effect 1 in 4000. My daughter is also battling mito, her story is on Facebook, Emily Anderson foundation. I hope and pray for this little girl and the journey ahead of her, much more awareness and advocating need to be done, we are all worth a cure

  • unicornhearts

    Is MTV going to pay for these horses just like they pay for the teen moms’ houses, apartments, lawyers, drugs, nails hair, vacations, breast augmentations, divorces, weddings, abortions, etc?

  • Badbadcat Badbaddog

    good parenting skills for such a stupid girl lol