Friday, April 23, 2010
was born without arms can do anything with her legs—flies airplanes, plays piano, martial arts.
While she admits it was not easy, Jessica said she is guided by her favorite words of wisdom: “Never let fear get in the way of our opportunity.”
The middle child to a retired music teacher William Cox and mother from Samar, nurse Inez Macabare, Jessica was treated like any ordinary kid. She also participated in many activities like swimming, gymnastics, and tap dancing. At age 10, she was introduced to Tae-Kwon-do by her parents to enhance her self confidence.
At the age of 14, she earned her first black belt at the International Tae Kwon-Do Federation. In college, she resumed her interest in martial arts, joined the American Tae Kwon-Do Association and secured a second black belt. She is the first woman without arms to achieve that feat in the United States.
Jessica has a degree in psychology from the University of Arizona and is now a recognized motivational speaker.
Jessica said, flying has taught her “the true meaning of determination and persistence.” The light plane she flies is called an Ercoupe (pronounced air-coupe) and it is one of the few airplanes to be made and certified without pedals, allowing Jessica to use her feet as hands. It took her three years instead of the usual six months to complete her lightweight aircraft license. She had three flying instructors and she logged 89 hours of flying to get the license. Jessica said she is thankful to God for allowing her to do the things she has accomplished.
“It feels great being told by people that my life experiences have somehow inspired them. It’s really cool, and it motivates me to keep going,” she enthused.