Is it possible that former Little People, Big World star Audrey Roloff and her husband, Jeremy Roloff, could have children born with dwarfism?
Audrey addressed the question during a recent Q&A.
Taking to her Instagram Story earlier this week, Audrey answered some questions from her 1.6 million IG followers while she, Jeremy, and their kids headed to Mt. Hood for a skiing trip.
One of the questions came from an LPBW viewer who wanted to know, “Is there a chance your children or children’s children could have dwarfism?”
Audrey responded, along with a photo of herself, Jeremy, and their three kids, Ember, Bode, and Radley.
The 31-year-old mom of three explained, “From how I’ve always understood it… [there] are different types of dwarfism. Some are dominant genes and some are recessive.”
LPBW alum Audrey Roloff explains the odds of her and Jeremy’s future children having dwarfism
Audrey went on to explain that Jeremy’s mom, Amy Roloff, and his twin brother, Zach Roloff, were both born with a type of dwarfism with a dominant gene.
“So if we were to have a baby with their type of dwarfism it would be a random genetic mutation because neither of us carry the gene since it’s dominant,” Audrey added.
“Basically we have the same chance as anyone else to have a child with that type of dwarfism,” Audrey added.
She continued, noting that Jeremy’s dad, Matt Roloff, was born with a different type of dwarfism than Amy and Zach. Matt’s type of dwarfism is rarer, and the gene is recessive in his case.
“So if both Jer and I have that gene we could have a baby with [Matt’s] type but we have never tested to find out if we do,” Audrey shared.
What type of dwarfism do Matt, Amy, and Zach Roloff have?
Amy and Zach’s type of dwarfism is called achondroplasia, the most common type of dwarfism. Achondroplasia is a genetic bone disorder that causes the arms and legs to be short in proportion to body length. The trunk is often average-sized, and the head is usually larger than usual.
The average height of an adult male with achondroplasia is 4 feet 4 inches tall, while a female’s average height is 4 feet 1 inch. The odds of a baby being born with achondroplasia is one in 20,000.
Zach and his wife Tori’s three children, Jackson, Lilah, and Josiah, were all born with achondroplasia as well.
Matt’s type of dwarfism is called diastrophic dysplasia, which is a rare genetic “disorder of cartilage and bone development that leads to an onset of joint pain and deformity.”
Diastropic dysplasia occurs equally in males and females, is most common among Caucasians, and occurs once in every 500,000 births in the United States. Due to his diagnosis, Matt has undergone many surgeries over his lifetime and uses crutches to walk.
Dwarfism often causes health issues, regardless of the type. Amy has been fortunate, not suffering any health-related issues due to her short stature. However, Zach and Matt have both undergone major surgeries throughout their lives related to their dwarfism.
As Monsters and Critics reported, Zach underwent emergency brain surgery last month. He had a shunt placed, which needed revision after it caused him to become violently ill and suffer severe migraines and vomiting. Zach’s surgery went well, and he’s back to normal.
Zach and Tori’s children have also faced health issues — Jackson underwent surgery to correct the bowing on his legs, while Lilah suffers from strabismus.
Little People, Big World is currently on hiatus.