Filipino American Jessica Cox has always dreamed of becoming Superwoman as a kid.
Born without arms due to a rare birth defect, Cox grew up in Tucson, Arizona and endured a lot of name-callings and hurtful remarks from other kids.
Often alone, she would imagine herself as a superhero, using her power of flight to take people up above the clouds one at a time.
But being isolated often made young Cox irritable and became prone to having screaming tantrums at home, according to Star.
Her American father and late Filipina mother reportedly sent her for martial arts lessons with her siblings when she was young so she would gain confidence.
Cox was made to use prosthetic arms since she was three years old, but never got around to liking them. When she reached eighth grade, she decided to take them off permanently.
While it wasn’t easy, she learned early on to adapt using the gifts she was given and to develop her skills to do more than expected of her.
Despite what others think of her, she was able to learn how to tap dance, do gymnastics, swim, surf, dive, and ski.
Using mainly her feet, she was able to learn to drive an unmodified car, type over 25 words per minute, and put on makeup and contact lenses.
She would eventually earn her U.S. Federal Aviation Administration sport pilot licence in 2008, after three years of hard work. Aside from a pilot license, she also has a double black belt in taekwondo.
Being the first armless person to become a certified pilot in aviation history and get a black belt from the American Taekwondo Association, Cox has earned herself two Guinness World Records.
But the incredible 36-year-old pilot is seen as a superhero by many, and not just because of her ability to fly, kick ass, or master multiple skills without the use of arms. She has earned praise and recognition for motivating others and advancing the rights of people with disabilities.
As a motivational speaker and disability rights advocate, Cox has shared her inspiring story on shows such as Ellen, Inside Edition, Fox and Friends, Oprah Winfrey Network, and CBS Evening News among many others. She has spoken about her success in over 23 countries, including Ghana, Kenya and the Philippines.
She is also currently a mentor with the International Child Amputee Network and the author of her autobiography, “Disarm Your Limits; Goodwill Ambassador of Humanity and Inclusion.”
In 2015, a documentary about her life and achievements titled “Right Footed” premiered at the Mirabile Dictu Film Festival (International Catholic Film Festival) held in Vatican City, Rome.
The film won the festival’s Best Documentary Award and became the Social Impact Film winner at the 2015 Hollywood Film Festival. The award-winning documentary was also aired on National Geographic in more than 80 countries.