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First pilot without arms of light aircraft: “I hate the word disabled”

Tucson (AZ), .- Since childhood, the American Jessica Cox hated the word “disabled”. Being born without arms for her is more of an “advantage” than a “disadvantage”, something that led her to become the first driver without lightweight aircraft arms and the first licensed around the world.

“When I fly, I feel free, independent and under control,” said Ex Cox, 36, of Sierra Vista, Arizona.
Cox was born without arms due to a rare congenital condition. However, this has not been an obstacle to perform daily activities with their feet such as dressing, eating, writing, makeup.

Since childhood seeks to be independent, despite the curious looks of people, to which, he says, is accustomed.

“Some people are surprised to see me, others just want to look in. There are even some who feel rejected, because they are not used to seeing the feet doing the functions of the hands,” the young pilot said.

“Some believe that the feet are dirty because they touch the floor or are inside your shoes, there is a whole range of reactions,” he added.

Cox has not used prosthetics since he was 14 years old. He is able to drive his car, which does not have any special modifications. He also holds an unrestricted driver’s license and writes 25 words per minute on the keyboard.

Following the advice of her father, the young woman decided to accept the invitation made in 2005 to fly, despite her fear of airplanes.

Since that first time he flew in a small plane, he says he was “hooked”, so, back on the ground, he knew that the next thing he would do was learn to fly.
After three years of training and several instructors, Cox obtained her pilot’s license on October 10, 2008, so she is qualified to fly light sport aircraft that reach an altitude of up to 10,000 feet.
With a degree in Psychology from the University of Arizona, Cox is dedicated to touring the US and the world, sharing his history of self-improvement.

His talks have allowed him to visit 23 different nations.
“It’s important for me to share my story, I think I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to influence people on a deeper level,” he says.
While he has breakfast and butter bread with his feet, he says:
“Being born without arms has been more an advantage than a disadvantage.”

In 2015, the Arizonan published the autobiographical book “Disarm Your Limits” (Disarm your limits), where she narrates the problems she has faced and how she has overcome them.
One of those pitfalls was the decision to abandon the prosthesis.

She assures that she “hated” them because they were very heavy and also the cause of heavy jokes at school, where they called her, among other epithets, “robot girl” and “Captain Hook”.

When her family moved to Tucson-she was about to start eighth grade-she decided to be the “real Jessica.” And the “real Jessica does not use prosthesis”.

At age 10, Cox started training taekwondo. At 14 she got her first black belt, becoming the first woman without arms with that color ribbon in the American Taekwondo Association.

With her husband, Patrick Chamberlain, Cox forms a duo of ambassadors for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, approved in 2006 by the United Nations.
“Unfortunately, the United States is not part of this agreement,” Cox lamented.

For her, it is very important not only that people with physical disabilities be respected, but also that they have better opportunities, especially work.
“My main message for people who have some kind of physical disability is that no matter the obstacles, there is a formula to ‘manage’ them, which includes desire, courage, innovation and above all perseverance,” he said.

Cox, who in addition to cycling and learning now to walk the tightrope, indicates that her Catholic faith has inspired her to improve herself and to try to help others overcome their own obstacles.

His life, in turn, inspired the documentary “Right Footed”, directed by Nick Spark in 2015.
“I can now say that for the only thing I need help is to make a ponytail in my hair, but I’m working on that,” says Cox, who will visit Israel soon to share his story. (EFEUSA)

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