'Little People, Big World's Secret Tragedy: Roloff Brother Died After Battle With Disease

little people big world secret tragedy matt roloff
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Sep. 26 2016, Updated 3:24 p.m. ET

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The Roloffs may constantly smile onscreen, but underneath, the family has been hiding a secret pain.

In addition to life-threatening surgeries and financial crises, the Little People, Big World clan lost a family member before they discovered reality TV fame, RadarOnline.com has learned.

Patriarch Matt Roloff, 54, lost his younger brother Josh at a very young age.

In the family's 2007 book, Little People, Big Values, Matt, who was born with a rare form of dwarfism, recalled welcoming his beloved brother in a dangerous delivery just two years after his own complicated birth.

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"Two years after me came Joshua, and again, Mom and Dad faced more childbirth trauma, because Josh was born with a severe heart and lung defect, which would ultimately take his life," he wrote.

The entire family dedicated their tell-all to Uncle Josh, who according to records, died in 1999 at just 34 years old.

"A great son, brother, uncle and friend who was with us in this life for far too short a time," they said. "We all miss you and think of you every day, and we look forward to being reunited with you one day in the presence of our Lord."

As Radar has revealed, the Roloffs are very religious, though they rarely speak of their conservative beliefs or Christianity on their long-running TLC series.

Son Jeremy's wife Audrey, 24, has said she doesn't support homosexuality, while mom Amy, 51, claimed she found abortion "shocking."

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