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Fil-Am Jessica Cox


Fil-Am Jessica Cox is the world’s first armless pilot, according to Guinness World Records.

Jessica Cox, a Filipino-American, shines as a professional motivational speaker. Born without arms due to Phocomelia Syndrome, she turned her challenges into triumphs. Her Filipino mother, Inez, hailed from Eastern Samar and married William Clinton Cox, an American. Despite her condition, Jessica achieved remarkable feats and inspires countless people worldwide.

Growing up without arms, Jessica often felt different.

Her parents worked hard to give her a normal childhood, but it wasn’t easy. She frequently asked her mother, “Why did God make me this way?” as she struggled with feeling alienated.

Her parents encouraged her to wear prosthetic arms to cope.

However, Jessica found them heavy and awkward. After eleven years, she decided to stop wearing them. Walking into eighth grade without prosthetics was liberating. Jessica embraced her true self, saying, “I was finally going to be the person God created me to be.”

In college, Jessica studied Psychology at the University of Arizona.

She graduated with honors in 2005 and obtained a driver’s license. She then pursued a career as a professional motivational speaker. However, she also felt drawn to flying, despite her fear of it. Meeting a former fighter pilot presented an opportunity to conquer this fear. Jessica became the first female pilot certified to fly an airplane with her feet. She passed her check-ride on October 10, 2008, allowing her to fly a light-sport aircraft. This achievement earned her recognition in the Guinness World Records.

Jessica’s story reached many through GMA News and Public Affairs’ Stories of Hope on May 17, 2021. She shared her journey and the challenges she faced. To children with similar conditions, she advises, “Be proud of your difference. Be confident. Don’t let others tear you down.” Jessica’s message emphasizes self-acceptance and resilience.

A year after her Guinness World Records recognition, Jessica met her husband, Patrick.

Their relationship grew through shared interests in martial arts and mutual support. Jessica stays connected to her Filipino roots, having visited the Philippines for the first time at eight years old. Her late mother instilled in her positive memories and cultural values. Jessica feels invigorated to continue serving as a beacon of hope and inspiration.

Jessica enjoys sharing her story and inspiring others. She delivered her last in-person speech on March 11, 2016. The global pandemic then forced the cancellation of her speeches. Undeterred, she adapted by giving major addresses from her living room. Jessica believes in the power of self-acceptance and understanding one’s value. She often quotes, “No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.”

Jessica acknowledges that not everyone will appreciate our differences.

However, she insists that we must be the best versions of ourselves. “It will transform our lives for the better if we choose not to be affected by negativity,” she says. Jessica encourages everyone to believe in themselves and pursue their ambitions. “To achieve your own impossibilities, stay positive, keep going, never give up, and remember that everything is possible with God.”

Jessica’s journey showcases the strength of the human spirit. Her achievements in Taekwondo, playing the piano, and becoming a licensed scuba diver, driver, and pilot are testaments to her determination. She continues to inspire many as an in-demand motivational speaker and a Guinness World Records holder. Jessica Cox embodies the belief that there is no such thing as impossible.

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