Media outlets all over the world have taken to calling Filipino-American Jessica Cox a real-life superhero. Despite the discrimination and disadvantages that she has had to face for being born without arms, she endured and made the most of her abilities. Today, she holds two Guinness World Records for being the first armless person to become a certified pilot and to earn a black belt from the American Taekwondo Association.
As a child, Cox was often bullied and frustrated by her disability. She channeled those experiences into her different endeavors as a healthy release. Her parents sent her to martial arts lessons when she was young in order for her to gain confidence. She also learned to tap dance, do gymnastics, swim, surf, dive, and ski — all of this, without the use of prosthetics.
Cox decided early on as an 8th grader to forego the use of her prosthetic arms. Though she had been using them since the time she was 3 years old, she had never come to like them. She was driven to prove that she could adapt without them and exceed everyone’s expectations.
And she truly has. Aside from the other skills listed, Cox is also known to be able to drive an unmodified car, type over 25 words per minute, and put on makeup and contact lenses with mostly the use of her feet.
These feats serve as an inspiration to the rest of the world. After all, Cox is also a well known international speaker, having traveled to 23 countries to share her story. She has also been on shows like Ellen, Oprah Winfrey Network, and Inside Edition amongst others. A documentary based on her life has gained critical acclaim in different film festivals and aired on National Geographic in over 80 countries.
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