“Little People, Big World” reality star delivers big speech at McAfee

March 10, 2009 — by Brian Kim and Tim Rollinson

Reality television star Matt Roloff of TLC’s “Little People, Big World” delivered a speech about how he has successfully faced adversity in a world that didn’t seem to be fit for him at the McAfee Center on the evening of Feb. 12.

Roloff, who lived in Saratoga for two years while working at a software company in Silicon Valley, delivered his personal testimony at the event “Limited Engagement.”

“When the going gets tough, the tough get going,” Roloff told the crowd.

Born with dwarfism, Roloff recounted some of the most troubling moments in his past that he had to overcome due to his disease. For example, from the day he was let go from a previous job, Roloff pulled himself together and wrote a list of goals he wanted to accomplish.

To this day, he has achieved success as a husband and father to four children, farm-owner and businessman. He is also a former president of Little People of America (LPA), an organization devoted to the awareness and support of those with dwarfism.

“Anytime you have something where you’re a little bit different like if you’re shorter, it’s good to have an organization like [LPA] because it gives you a lot of confidence that you’re not alone,” said Roloff. “Not only does it turn you to practical things like where you can get the pedals so you can drive, but it also helps you with your self-confidence.”

The rising popularity of his show also raised awareness.

“People who watch our show would say, ‘I used to tease little people like that or be afraid of them,” said Roloff, “’But now that I get to know them through that TV show, I think that they’re just regular people trying to live their lives.’”

As cameramen lined along the aisles, Roloff spent the second half of his speaking engagement answering questions from audience members. He provided additional information on events that occurred on his show, including his trips to Iraq to assist children with dwarfism and a recent death of a family friend.

Roloff was greeted with admiration by his audience, from a salute by a war veteran to tears of joy of teen fans. He exited the stage to the lobby where he met a long line of fans awaiting autographs and photos.

“Little People, Big World,” with over 100 episodes aired, has made its way into its fourth season and can be viewed Monday nights at 8 p.m. on TLC.

2 views this week