Matt Roloff Opens Up About Challenging Childhood (He Underwent HOW Many Surgeries?!?)

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We interrupt our typical forcasting of Matt Roloff's future to delve a bit into Matt Roloff's past.

Over the past several weeks, we've wondered whether Roloff will remain on Little People, Big World, considering he's moved part-time to Arizona and has also admitted that he's maybe growing sick and tired of running the farm.

Matt Roloff: An Image

Not to mention... will he soon get engaged to Caryn Chandler?

Those topics can be put on hold for a moment, however.

Because Roloff was a guest on the podcast "Reality Life with Kate Casey" this week and opened up like never before about his unique and challenging childhood.

Did you know, for example, that the reality star underwent 15 surgeries as a child?!?

Yes, 15 surgeries.

They all related to Matt being born with Achondroplasia, a type of dwarfism that causes problems in one's shoulders, legs, hips, knees and arms.

But we'll let Roloff talk about this a bit more in-depth.

Matt Roloff Looks Happy

"As they say, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger," Matt said during this interview, explaining that he would play chess, checkers and Legos to keep his mind focused during these challenging times.

"I had a rough childhood," he added.

"Not from a family perspective but just from orthopedic surgery, spending long periods of time - sometimes months - in a hospital with very limited access to your parents.

"It was just the way they did it back in those days and going through some very painful operations.

"So I do think all of that sort of built up a muscle of resiliency and gave me a sense of can-do and tenacity."

Times have changed, of course. Technology has advanced.

It's very possible that someone born these days with Roloff's condition could avoid many of these procedures.

Matt Roloff is Happy

But Matt's brother, Josh, passed away from severe heart and lung problems many years ago.

"When Joshua was born - about two weeks before Christmas in 1964 when I was over two years old - my parents faced more childbirth trauma," Matt wrote in his memoir, Against Tall Odds: Being A David In A Goliath World.

"Only this time it was the uncertainty over whether their new baby would ever make it out of the hospital alive.

"Not long after the delivery, the doctors diagnosed Josh as having severe heart and lung problems they thought would probably take his life before he was a day old."

For those unaware, Both of Matt's parents are of average size, as is his sister.

However, his brother, Sam, has the same form of degenerative dwarfism as Matt.

Matt Roloff Loves America

Matt did note on the podcast, though, that he doesn't want any sympathy.

He knows that everyone has struggles.

"Life is tough," he says. "Everyone goes through different adversity, but it's how you react to it and what it makes out of you."

This is a noble thing for Matt to say, but let's be honest: he went through more than most people ever do. All in the course of a couple years. All as a child.

Roloff spent over 700 days in hospitals back then, undergoing various corrective surgeries and procedures.

To this day, he still can't stand up straight or walk without the help of his crutches.

In 2016, he underwent a neck surgery that could have left him paralyzed.

Thankfully, he came out of that procedure strong and, as anyone knows who visits his Instagram page on a regular basis, feels spry enough these days to try and keep up with his adorable grandkids, Ember and Jackson.

Way to go, Matt.

We admire your attitude and persistance.

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