Courtesy photo
Hawthorne’s Suzette Arnold, right, received a reply from President Donald Trump after she penned a letter to him on social security benefits.

Never one to follow politics, Suzette Arnold of Hawthorne, started to get involved in 2008.

When in school, she had been taught “that politics are above you and there isn’t anything that you, as an individual, can do about it.” She chose to get involved and wrote to President Donald Trump.

At the age of 47, Arnold realizes there is much time wasted on school during that time and “still are”, she writes.

Born with Congenital Multiplex Arthrogryposis, a condition in which a joint becomes permanently fixed in a bent (flexed) or straightened (extended) position, completely or partially restricting the movement of the affected joint. When she was born, the doctor’s called her grandmother in to sign paperwork that they would take no heroic efforts to save her life.

Taking her granddaughter in her arms, Arnold’s grandmother had a talk with her newly born granddaughter. The two communicated perfectly. When handed back to the medical professionals, her grandmother stated, “I am not signing anything, she will be just fine and she will make it.”

And make it she has. Employed despite her condition, which required 23 orthopedic surgeries, 18 of which were performed before her seventh birthday, Arnold works in a local casino where she gets to use her brain (and not her legs). “They do not work very well.”

Knowing her fate will eventually be a wheelchair, Arnold loves that she gets to work in the vault of the casino. She loves her job but due to her condition, she also receives social security benefits.

In her letter to President Trump, Arnold expressed her concerns (for the first time – publicly) that reforms need to be taken for those who overcome daily as well as the social security benefit hurdles.

She stressed her feelings to the President that she feels like a second class citizen as she can’t marry in fear of losing her benefits and that a disabled person wants to work just like a “normal” person.

Arnold stressed that she knows the day will come when this degenerative disease will catch up to her and she will be forced to give up being a part of “the gainful employment community”. She has a cap placed on her wage gain for the year. Working an entire year, she only made $8,565.11. “That is shameful for someone whom is just trying to be “normal” herself/myself,” she wrote.

Much to her surprise, President Trump wrote to Arnold.

“Hardworking Americans like you have dutifully contributed to the Social Security system and have a right to receive their benefits during retirement. I am committed to protecting Social Security and ensuring the Federal Government honors the deal it made with American workers who have paid into the system for decades,” the letter stated.

The President also wrote that it is crucial to protect social security by unleashing economic growth and by doing so; he and his administration are focusing on eliminating “unnecessary burdensome regulations.”

He thanked Arnold for writing as ended his letter stating, “As President, I will continue to stand with America’s workers.”