9 Things You Didn’t Know About ‘The Little Couple’ Star Jen Arnold
For years, fans of TLC have become passionate about the hit series The Little Couple starring married pair Jen Arnold and Bill Klein. Fans have watched as the couple have tackled all the highs and lows of life together including moving, building their dream homes, dealing with their careers and starting a family, and they are just as interesting apart as they are together! Jen Arnold is without a doubt one of the most inspirational reality stars out there for so many reasons, so here are 9 things you probably didn’t know about The Little Couple star:
9. Being a Little Person
Leading up to her birth and right after, Jen Arnold’s parents had no indication their daughter had any health problems. While immediately after her birth it was obvious something was wrong, no one was sure what exactly that meant, and it wasn’t until Jen was just over a year old that her parents took to her to the Moore Clinic where she was finally diagnosed with SED. Arnold was diagnosed with spondyloepohyseal dysplasia, type Strudwick, signifying her specific type of dwarfism, and despite her harrowing beginnings, Arnold has always been optimistic. “I wasn’t unhappy being a Little Person. Being a Little Person has always been and will always be normal to me. Even at a young age, I was used to the challenge of being a Little Person in an average-sized world […] My parents always reminded me to count my blessings ad be grateful for the things that were good in my life,” she wrote in her book she co-authored with her husband.
8. Early Life
Jennifer Arnold was born on March 12, 1974 to David and Judy Arnold who were eagerly anticipating their first child. Arnold was born in St. Petersburg, Florida, and lived with her parents, grandparents and two aunts before her parents and her Aunt Barbara moved to an apartment in Orlando.
While Jen Arnold has always remained optimistic in her life, things have never been particularly easy. In her book she also revealed that her childhood consisted of spending a lot of time in the Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. “I would be out of school for two to three weeks for the surgery, then up to three months to heal in the cast at home, and then six to eight more weeks for inpatient physical therapy at the hospital,” she recalled. By the time Jen turned 18 years old she said she had already gone through at least 22 surgical procedures.
6. Becoming a Doctor
While Arnold’s husband Bill Klein revealed he suffered merciless bullying, Arnold said she was usually met with support and inclusion, but when interviewing at medical schools, she faced discrimination. She said while interviewing at the University of Miami, “The interview quickly became focused on my size, or lack thereof.” After completing her undergraduate degrees in Biology and Psychology at the University of Miami, she moved to Baltimore where she was accepted into the John Hopkins School of Medicine and then attended a Paediatric Residency Program at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. Now, she is the medical director of the Simulation Center at Texas Children’s Hospital and is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology at Baylor College.
5. Being a Doctor
In 2001, well before she was a reality star, Jen Arnold was featured in Pittsburgh’s Post-Gazette for her work as a doctor where co-workers gushed praise for her. “She’s really got this lovely ability to connect with the kids and with parents. They trust her. If she were just a Little Person, it would be a novelty. The fact is she’s a fabulous doctor,” the paediatric residency program director stated. The article also highlighted how Arnold in no way let her stature affect her work, and added that small modifications had been made in order to make things easier for the doctor including portable stools in the emergency department, and a plastic file holder hung below counter level at the nurse’s station. As well “some soap dispensers were moved, gloves were special-ordered and size-appropriate chairs and tables were placed in the nurses’ stations when Arnold arrived.”
4. Reality Star
Since The Little Couple first began airing on TLC in May 2009, it has been a fan favorite, and while the show was tied up in legal tape, it finally returned for season nine in September of 2017. The thing is, with fast-paced careers of their own, Jen and Bill never set out to be reality stars, but networks were persistent. The pair were asked numerous times if the network could produce a series about their lives, and they said no until something changed Jen’s mind. “One day after LMNO pitched the TV series around our story, a little girl came up to me while I was shopping. She was probably about seven years old, but what this little girl said changed my entire perspective. She said, ‘My goodness, you’re a little person, like Little People, Big World.’ And I thought okay this is a sign because this little girl said the right word. She didn’t say midget, a word many people in the little people community feel is very derogatory. She watched Little People, Big World, and it had obviously taught her something. It really struck a chord that watching their show taught her to just come up and say something nice. It taught her to say, ‘hey, you’re a little person, no big deal.’ And that’s when I thought; okay this is a great opportunity.”
After many trials and tribulations thing seemed to be going well for Jen and Bill as they started a family by adopting, but then in late 2013 she revealed the news that she had been battling stage 3 uterine cancer following a failed pregnancy. Unfortunately for Arnold the cancer was especially rare (stage 3 choriocarcinoma) and after a hysterectomy and many intense chemotherapy treatments, she announced in 2016 that she had completed chemo and was in remission.
2. Favorite Series
As a reality star and a doctor, fans are always interested to find out what Jen Arnold likes to watch in her downtime, and no it isn’t The Little Couple. In an interview with Glamour she revealed she loves Grey’s Anatomy and when she and her husband were asked which celebrity they would want to have over for dinner, Jen proclaimed “Patrick Dempsey!”
1. Becoming A Mother
Of all the things the pair have had to adapt to, one of their biggest challenges so far has been parenthood. In 2013 they adopted their first child, a son named Will, and later added to their family with the adoption of Zoey, and Arnold said becoming a mother has been one of the best changes of her life. “It has changed me in so many ways. I was so nervous to be a good parent, but I think the thing that changed me personally that I didn’t expect was how quickly I felt like a mom. It didn’t take me a long time to feel that connection. Sometimes you wonder, “Will this ever happen to me?” whether it was meeting someone and getting married or having a child, and now that it’s happened, it’s the most amazing ever. All of the sudden, I’m a mom and this is my kid, and he’s my number one priority. It happened so fast. The minute we laid eyes on him in that room, it was over.”