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Jessica Cox received her licensed pilot certificate in 2008. Prior to this, she received training for three years to obtain that license. It was in 2005 when she flew her very first single engine airplane. You might think that all these achievements are easily attainable. But there’s one missing information you need to know. Jessica Cox was born without arms due to a rare birth defect. So how does she fly airplanes? Nope, not with prosthetic arms, but rather with her feet.
“Born without arms due to a birth defect, Cox had used prosthetics throughout her childhood.”
Initially, Jessica Cox had to use prosthetic arms during her childhood. But when she was 14 years old, she decided to remove her prosthetic arms and instead use her feet for all her activities. The decision was influenced upon by several factors. First, she realized that her prosthetics were hiding who she really is. Second, the prosthetics were too hot, heavy and uncomfortable, especially in the place where she grew up in, Arizona. Since then, she has moved forward, became independent without her arms or prosthetic arms.
“She trained herself to use her feet to do everyday tasks like drive a car, prepare meals, and brush her hair. As an active teen, Cox participated in several sports and afterschool activities — including the martial art of taekwondo — and beauty pageants.”
Before acquiring her pilot’s license, Jessica Cox has accomplished a myriad of other things. There are daily activities that we often take for granted like driving a car or brushing our teeth. Yet Jessica can do all these things and more with her feet. That’s not all, Jessica is also a black-belt in taekwondo and knows how to surf. She can play the piano and is also a licensed scuba diver. For all the things she have accomplished, Jessica attributes her strength and achievements to her mother.
“She said she credits most of her success to the hard work her mother did throughout her childhood.”
Perhaps Jessica Cox got her persistence and strength to her late Filipina mother, Inez Macabare Cox. Born in Eastern Samar in the Philippines, Inez Macabre Cox immigrated to the US after graduating from her Nursing degree. Sadly, Inez Macabare Cox died in July 2016 because of complications of her cancer. But her contributions to the life of Jessica Cox stands immense and strong. As a child, Jessica related how her mother have always treated her like a normal child and encouraged her to participate in various activities.
“When Cox and Right Footed director Nick T. Spark first began talking about a documentary, they knew they wanted part of the film to be focused on her wedding to Patrick Chamberlain, who she met through taekwondo.”
Jessica Cox is now married to Patrick Chamberlain, which was her former taekwondo instructor. They now work together as well, going on tours and giving inspiration to people who have the same condition as Jessica. On a side note, Patrick also helps Jessica in aspects of her life that she finds challenging. For instance, Jessica finds it hard to tie her hair in a ponytail, a task that Patrick has mastered quite well. The couple doesn’t have their own child as of the moment, as they’re busy touring the world and giving motivational services to others.
It took Jessica Cox three years before she was finally able to get her pilot’s license. What’s amazing is that she had always been afraid of flying, as she had admitted in this interview.But she didn’t let her fear get to her dreams. She gained the highest belt in taekwondo, a martial arts form that relies on the use of hands. She taught herself to surf and has even acquired a scuba diving license. Is there anything that this girl cannot achieve? I bet my cards there isn’t, because if you have courage and persistence, everything else is possible.
Jessica’s story puts to shame those stories of people who are able-bodied yet find it easy to complain about the difficulty of working or achieving something. And if you’re a Filipino, it’s very easy to find such individuals. Neighbors who spend the day gossiping instead of doing something productive. Men who drink early in the day instead of catering to the needs of their family. Show them this story of Jessica and let the guilt seep in. The best part of Jessica’s story? All the things she have accomplished are through hard work and persistence. Nothing ever came easy for her but that didn’t stop her from achieving these things.
(All Images From Jessica Cox Motivational Speaker)
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