Jessica Cox

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/22/art.cox.plane.gif

caption=”Jessica Cox, 25, born without arms, is training to become a sport pilot instructor.”]
Whether it’s swimming, gymnastics or tap dancing as a kid or driving and flying as a young adult, this girl does it all, with her feet!

Doctors still don’t know why Jessica Cox, 25, was born without arms. Sonograms and other prenatal tests didn’t reveal her rare congenital condition. Jessica sees that condition, though, as an exercise in imagination. To put clothes on, she uses a dressing hook. To type her college papers, she used her toes.

“For the most part I don’t think about the restrictions or how I can’t do something. I think about how I can make it happen,” Jessica says. For some years growing up, she wore prosthetic arms, but hated them. She felt it was more important to be true to herself and be proud of her accomplishments, some that most people with all four limbs can’t even tackle!

Update: Watch the CNN.com Live interview

This entry was posted in Adventurers, Amazing talents, Athletes, Stereotype busters. Bookmark the permalink.

53 Responses to Jessica Cox

  1. Michelle says:

    You’re beave person!

  2. sheasu says:

    Jessica Cox is an inspiritual and brave woman. I’m proud to see an talented young adult achieve successful besides her conditions. She has proven that she can do anything she sets her mind to. She encourages other children and adults like herself to strive to become happy doing the things they love the most and not to allow other things or situations to enable them.

  3. Doug says:

    you are truely an inspiration to anyone who has ever thought or been told they couldn’t do something

  4. dan says:

    Jessica, Thank you for sharing your story with us. I am 56 years old and you have truly inspired me to challenge myself more. Thank you so much.

  5. Veer says:

    Jessica, You are amazing.. living proof of totally awesome.. a true role model for people with disabilities.. Thanks for all the hard work. & patience. You hardwork can easily be comparable to of a renowned scientist or noble laureate , just remember that you have a special place in so many of our hearts & I wish to meet you one day..

  6. jp says:

    hi hello i havnt yet read what u have accomplished but i would like too say you are a very beutiful person no lie, well in my eyes u are very gorgous 0.o n seem very high spirted but what i have heard is that you are a motivation to society alone girl there is nothing you cant accomplish no matter how crazy people might see thats just a vague idea peace on the world but one love sincerely a person who saw a pic an so a soul not one thats broken but one that give “your no broken soul” JP

  7. David Brown says:

    You’re hawt!

  8. Jessica says:

    WOW! You are one of the people that most inspires me. If you can do it then anyone can

  9. Anne says:

    The story on Jessica Fox is truly a breath of fresh air and an should be an inspiration for all of us to do better. I am in awe of her strenght and determination to accept herself “as she is” and make things work for herself. Not giving into what most of us would likely do, which would be to try and “fit in” with the use of prosthesis and when it came to physical activities caving in and quitting when things seem too difficult. I hope that her story is picked up in youth magazines and shows because I think her story could really help a lot of young (and not so young) people realize that it’s ok to be yourself and not fit some image that we conjure in our minds. It’s not only about looks either, it’s about having the courage to do things that may seem out of your reach. Ms. Fox has a lot to be proud of and I wish her all the success this life has to offer. I am going to print this story and bring it home to my son just to add to our dinner time discussion on why it’s ok to be “different” and how amazing people can be.

  10. Jen says:

    Just wow! It’s people like this young woman that give me strength. When I think I can’t go on, I remember that there are many out there less fortunate than myself and I plow on.

    Jessica is one cool chick!

  11. Scott says:

    Amazing! What an incredible young woman. In our excuse-laden culture, it’s so inspiring to see a person with legitimate barriers overcome them with a powerful spirit and desire.

    Bless you young lady.

  12. Young Kim says:

    Absolutely Amazing! I should be ashamed whenever I face difficult times and complain. You are an inspiration to all. There is hope for the human race when we produce such precious fruit.

  13. Keith says:

    What questions have you asked God, and what were some of the answers?

  14. ironman90265 says:

    Jessica, you’re my hero😉

  15. Amanos says:

    Wonderful! What motivated you to become pilot ? and What Do you think could be different if you have both arms,would you do amazing things more than you do now ? With best wishes . Amanos

  16. John & Debi H. says:

    Miss Cox,

    We don’t think you should be praised simply because you don’t
    have arms and can do stuff, but because you have overcome
    a world-system designed for arms, and face a human population
    that demands them.

    Through your flexibility, you seem to require limited to no
    assistive/modified devices to succeed in your life.

    My wife and I would appreciate some classifications on your
    family, and world-view experiences so as to better grasp
    for ourselves how to reason with persons confused over the
    issue of raising an emotionally health and happy child that is
    simply missing some parts, be it real flesh or synthetic strap-ons.

    Some parents seem to declare after their child is born without
    arm/s or leg/s, that there child is ‘deformed’ and should be
    hidden away, or conversely that the child is “A blessing” somehow.

    This is opposed to just acknowledging ‘time and circumstance’
    and influences (congenital?), during gestation.
    And that the child ultimately has whatever potential it has
    to use, inside and out, for the rest of their lives.

    Would you say that your parents, at your birth, just declared
    you, a ‘girl’?
    Or where they ultimately were not embarrassed for either
    themselves, (not guilt-possessed), nor embarrassed for you?

    Did they see ‘you’, and as it’s said, and “not the wheelchair”,
    early or later, in your life?

    When growing-up and the issue of prosthetics entered your life,
    did you “throw them away’ eventually, because they physically
    were unable to function effectively for you, and you found them
    to get in your way, as you got on with life’s real challenges?

    Did they prove for you to be just verbal ‘dangling-participles’,
    which possessed little action?

    Where the arms a hindrance to you, and only a ‘pacifier’ for
    onlookers so that onlookers,(strangers/acquaintances) would
    feel safer in their own comfort-zone when looking at you?

    “Look! A girl with no arms”. or “Look at that poor child that has to use those fake arms to be a real little girl”.

    Did the arms just ‘pacify’ other people, more than serve
    your needs as functional aids?

    Did you decide that your natural mobility trumped their emotional
    unease, ignorance or fears?
    Were the “arm” putting artificial limits on your own overall
    accomplishments, and just getting-in-the-way?

    With modern ‘bionics’, micro-electronics, carbon fiber and
    space-age light metals now available, would you
    (assuming unlimited money available to you), as a person born
    with no arms, would these advances be of value to you today?

    Or would you rather recommend these “modern” advanced-prosthetics to persons already Brain trained to use and expect arms?

    Some persons are ambidextrous, writing/typing with either hand.
    Are you ambidextrous in your toe coordination
    through birth or training, or not?

    Was it your parents that spearheaded your flexibility training of ballet.
    gymnastics, swimming, karate…(mountain climbing??) and other
    strengthening activities or did you lead.. and your parents support
    and accommodate your desires in your choices?

    We notice that you sometimes wear eye-glasses as an “assistive-device” that you accept, to your advantage.
    (I suppose eye make-up for a gal is also an assistive-device too :P).

    Yet arms are now rejected by you.
    Since you were BORN with no arms you have perhaps a distinct advantage over a person who had arms, is Brain wired to use arms, and then looses them, in an accident, war etc..

    What have you recommend to persons as their options for their success, now that they have lost arms?
    Do you differentiate between being born with no arms, vs loosing arms, and any difference in mental/physical training?

    For instance, a person born deaf is in a very different situation
    mentally/physically than a person becoming deaf or being deafened by an accident. Choosing to use Sign Language and writing vs hearing-aid adaptive devices and rejecting Signing.

    Discussing prosthetics, what was necessary for you to do or say, that
    convinced the powers around you, (friends, parents, relatives,
    professionals, doctors. etc) to finally leave you alone to fend for yourself and reach your own potential in your own body?

    Did you ultimately decided that the person within is also the person
    on the outside, without flapping plastic arms around, and other persons embarrassments, were not best serving your goals?

    We bet you have never been asked any of these questions before!😛
    Really, we’d love to hear your observations.

    You are obviously bright and attractive and accomplished..
    Good for you!
    And your parents? Wow!
    They must just be saying, “You go girl!”

    In the Theatre, they say “Break-a-leg”,
    and for you, we hope you likewise have even greater successes.
    But definitely don’t, “break-a-toe”😛

    Thanks for giving the nice interview to CNN and a peek into your yur very captivating life-story.
    We also hope you clarify some of our additional questions here.

    Very sincerely,
    Mr John and Debi H.
    posbl[at]yahoo.com

  17. roy says:

    jessica i want to wish good luck you are doing a lot more than just flying and plan u are an example that u can do anything if set your mind.

  18. Salvador Hignojos says:

    Hey! Jessica you are awesome! You share some common interest with my
    he is seven years old he was born with one arm and nothing stops him either.

  19. Francis Tran says:

    Jessica,

    I’ve read several books about inspiration but nothing is compared to your story.

    Regards,
    Francis

  20. Dave says:

    Not trying to crash the dream here, but a plane has pedals for a reason. If you spin you need both hands and both feet. When you do a run up if one foot is on the throttle, only one is available for the brakes so are relying on the lock to hold them? I am a flight instructor and flying is easy. The taking off and landing are a challenge and what you train for is that 1% of the time when things go wrong. You can do a lot of things, and should always try to do more, but I can’t see how this is even remotely safe

  21. Mark Hogan says:

    what an accomplishment!

    Welcome to the flying fraternity…we’re glad to have you….

  22. shoops man says:

    un très jolie femmes qui pilote un avion c’est pas génial ça?
    c’est royal

  23. adam says:

    definitely hottest girl with no arms i have ever seen. nice job! that airplane thing is cool too!

  24. John says:

    I do have to agree that you are gorgeous!!

    AND what you are doing with your life given the circumstances is amazing!!

  25. LuckLove says:

    Hey Jessica,
    I think that’s amazing how you do things with your feet. I remember when i broke my hand i felt so helpless and frasturated, I’d probably give up if i didnt have both hands to use. You a inspiration. I think what your doing is beyond what words can say. Your a great role model for kids and adults who have the same disabilities. You think positve and you never give up, thats special. I admire you, and I am sure so do many people. You’ve accomplished things that people with hands would not be able to, or afraid to. You show people that there isnt anything impossiable. You are a role model to everyone not just the ones who think they are lilimted to doing things, but all the ones who have what it takes. Somtimes we take things for granted. I am just proud to see that your not just giving up, but making the best out of your life. We can do anything as long as we put or minds and hearts in it. I wish you the best with your training, i know youll be great. Im just glad you have a great attitude and a great big heart. Dont ever let anyone tell you you cant, or discourage you. The word cant should not even exist, because I believe we can do anything, no matter the circumstances. Take care of yourself and contiue on doing what you love and always have that beautiful smile. Best regards,
    LuckLove. =)

  26. troy says:

    i think its really great that she doesnt let her disabilaty get her down and she stays active and trys new things

  27. Alejandra says:

    I think it is very inspiring what u do for your self.i would like to get to meet u someday so u can tell me about all your adventures u have had in your life.

  28. Tanya L. says:

    It’s amazing how you can do so many things without arms. It’s good that you have confidence in yourself. What’s even more amazing is that you are training to be a pilot!!!! You are such an inspiration!!!

  29. MaryAnn N. says:

    Thanks for you inspiration and to everyone and for giving hope.

  30. steve says:

    adaptation is the best thing we humans have, its good to see people take advantage of that instead of having other people take care of them

  31. Lou says:

    Dear Jessica reading this article has inspired me and also encouraged me. Because there are people out there who can do things that I would not have dreamed of doing. And I even have all the parts of my body to see you doing this is even cooler. You are a real inspiration to me that I can do any thing I put my mind to. Thanks

  32. James says:

    Jessica,
    It is truely amazing that you have accomplished so much with just your feetl. I have grown up with a close friend that has had her leg amputated. seeing her disposition due to the lack of one leg is difficult enough, I could only imagine how hard it would be with no arms. I greatly admire your tallent and attitude and wish you the best of luck in your future.

    Hang in there,
    James

  33. Casey says:

    Jessica,

    I think you are amazing for showing yourself for who you really are, not trying to be someone that your not. The fact you still do daily activites and going to collage, that really inspires me. You can type with your toes? Wow, thats amazing. I think someone who is true to theirself shows that they are a great person. Not wanting fake arms and wanting to show your true self is great!!!

  34. Anna says:

    Wow! Ms. Cox, thats amazing! You’re a true role model and I bet a lot of people will look up to you!

    I wish you the best of luck on your career of piloting.

    Anna

  35. John says:

    Like all the others, I think you are a truly amazing and inspirational person, and you’re gorgeous too!
    Can I just ask you one question? If your fairy godmother appeared tomorrow, and said she could give you a fully functioning pair of arms with a wave of her magic wand, what would you say to her?

  36. Isaac says:

    You are truly beautiful🙂 and absolutely inspiring. Great job getting your pilot’s certificate. Best of luck to you in everything you do!

    Isaac

  37. Robert says:

    Dave you may be a flight instructor, but you are a dud when it comes to recognizing a truly amazing accomplisment. I learned to fly in 1969 and I too also know of the requirements to land a plane or to take off. I broke my arm once and could still fly the plane to the ground and yes I did have the luxury of having the one hand to control my altitude with the throttle. That is what makes this such an amazing accomplishment. Planes years ago used to have the controls tied together (rudder and alerion/elevator so that there were no rudder controls. air coupe comes to mind). Don’t believe me? Look it up.
    Jessica, it is the Daves of the world that have to throw doubt and uncertainty upon anything that is truly inspirational. Naysayers will always be with us. You my girl are not only extremely talented with beauty and brains, but you provide a jaded world with a look at what is possible with commitment and dedication. Hero is not a great enough word to describe you. I do not know if there is a word penned that does you justice. Glad to have you flying with us. I would be honored to fly with you at any time.
    Robert

  38. crdgs2580 says:

    You are a very amazing person who everyone should have a great deal of respect for. You are an inspiration and I admire your courage and outlook on life.

  39. Coolkiss says:

    Jessica,
    you are a great person and very brave woman. I salute you!

    ——
    Обучения по свалки

  40. John Devlin says:

    Dear Jessica

    Every time I look at your website I can’t help admiring you. I have a disability as well, cerebral palsy, which affects my speech, arms, hands and legs, but I don’t think I could have coped with having no arms at all. You are also very attractive and you have such a lovely smile. Best wishes for everything you do.

  41. Kathleen says:

    Inspiring !!!!! Starting off with two little grand daughters that have their own special needs, sometimes I cry for them as I do not know how they are going to be able to handle such a crazy world, you do give
    me HOPE !!!! GOD be with you always. Stay Cool !!!!

  42. Pingback: Impossible is Impossible — meet jessica cox « Life Rocks

  43. sunil says:

    Hello jesica!
    i got really surprised, when i saw u in mail. U generated lot of spark in my life.
    This was beyond my imagination. Now, i used to collect ur photo, writing material. i have hanged one in my room. i shown ur picture to my parents. i wish that god will really help u in ur all venture.
    i saw ur last snap in newspaper, when u were giving pilot training to person.
    i wanna see and meet u.
    sunil
    india

  44. Hadassah says:

    Wow! simply amazing! I applaud you’re perseverance and ability to stay strong no matter the difference. You go girl!!!

  45. IMV says:

    Not only is she amazing and an inspiration, but she’s always one of the nicest people you could ever meet!!🙂 She’s involved with her Filipino-American community in Arizona and was even awarded “Filipino of the Year” from the Filipino American Chamber of Commerce in 2008 not only for her talents and encouraging story, but because she’s just an overall nice and friendly gal.🙂

  46. Martha Olowoporoku says:

    wow! her story is so inspiritional. I have a disabled friend just like Jessica and it never fails to fascinate me, when i see her do things that people with all their limbs cannot do. If jessica story doent make poeple get up and do things , i dont know what else can! God bless u Jessica!

  47. George says:

    I think that you have had life as challenging as it can get phisically and i hope that you become a flying instructor as you really have achieved alot with alot of persivearance.

  48. maria says:

    i can not be live it that jessica can drive with no arms but thank you for showing this photo thats sad but take care and carefull with the cars and dont broke your feet too.

  49. Myzteriousgirl says:

    I love you jessica!!! you’re like a hero to me!!!

  50. Stephen C. says:

    I was at San Manuel’s Ray Blair airport a couple of weeks ago with a friend, and took the courtesy car to the club house for breakfast. We were hoping to meet you. Parrish and his son had your blue Ercoupe up to Benson Municipal the weeend after that, and I took some pictures of it. Your airplane and the blue skies of sourthern Arizona are calling for you, Jessica. Be safe and happy landings.
    -N714KU

  51. Pingback: » Blog Archive » LIFE WITHOUT ARMS: Jessica Cox’s Story

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