Sisters are built-in best friends — and Aliannah “Ali” Hope Simms is lucky that she has two! Teen Mom 2 starLeah Messer‘s daughter was diagnosed with Titin’s muscular dystrophy back in 2014, and she is constantly facing and overcoming struggles related to the disorder as she gets older. But thankfully, the 9-year-old has the support of an awesome mommy and her sisters Aleeah Grace “Gracie” Simms and Adalynn “Addie” Faith Calvert. Leah, 26, opened up about her daughters’ special relationship and how they all support each other through difficult times. Scroll through the gallery for more details about Ali, Gracie and Addie’s strong sister bond!
But it wasn’t always so easy. During Teen Mom 2 season 8, fans watched as Gracie, 9, struggled with the fact that her twin sister had different needs than her, and Gracie often reacted to that by acting out and fighting with her sister.
“I feel like I was fighting with Gracie. Her and Ali got into a fight over a book, Ali fell down and hit her head. She knows better, maybe [it’s] some people she’s hanging out with at school. I think it’s a little bit of who she is. I think she’s testing to see how far she can push. I think it’s a combination of a lot of things,” Leah confessed to a pal during a scene that aired last season.
“I just feel like we’re always focused on Ali because she does require a lot of attention. We have to go out of our way to make sure that Gracie feels understood and loved just as much and that she gets as much attention,” Leah said.
Even though Leah struggled with Gracie’s attitude during the car ride to her first therapy appointment, the session went well. Gracie even admitted that she didn’t know why she was acting the way she does.
“It was hard to talk about how sometimes you’re not always the nicest to Ali and why I think that is, but that we’ve been trying to make sure that we’re spending one on one time together more often so that way you don’t ever feel like Ali’s getting more attention than you,” Leah told her daughter.
“And I think it was also hard to talk about just you getting angry about things. It’s like you’re having a hard time accepting the disability that Ali has because you want her to be able to do things like you and she can’t sometimes,” Leah explained.
“And I’m sure that’s hurtful for you because usually when you see twins, and you see twins at your school, they’re the same and in our family, it’s not like that,” she added. “She’s still your sister and you love her. That was hard to tell you.”
Leah also shared an update on how Gracie has been adjusting to Ali’s needs.
“Aleeah had trouble for a while because Ali does require a lot of attention with her medical stuff, but as time progressed, we have found a way that works for us, giving Aleeah her attention or her own time. She’s in things, then Ali’s in things. We just found a way,” Leah told Us Weekly.