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Armless Pilot To Share Story in Milbank



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For some, being tagged as ‘disabled’ automatically limits them from accomplishing their goals. For others, it only motivates them even more.

That’s certainly the case for Jessica Cox of Tuscon, Arizona who was born without either of her arms. This week, she’ll be sharing her inspirational story in Milbank.

To this day, she and her family still do not know the cause of this rare birth defect.

"This is one of those freak things that happened and I think it happened for a good reason because now, I'm able to share my message and travel all over the world inspiring others,” says Cox.

For Cox, each day brought a brand new challenge. Whether she was dealing with people staring at her or simply getting dressed in the morning; she was often forced to think on her feet.

"My feet naturally became my hands and my toes became my fingers and that's how I explored the world as a child. That's how I learned to do everything,” she says.

She says these challenges made her stronger and more confident in the long run.

"A lot of things I do, I just go at it full force and if someone says I can't do it; it just gives me all the more reason to do it,” says Cox.

Cox was the first armless black-belt in the American Taekwondo Association, but her accomplishments go above and beyond just that.

While she was in college, she had the opportunity to go up in a single engineer flight. This experience sparked a brand new interest in her life.

"When I had that taste of flight, I was hooked. You just want to fly and that's what I wanted to do. After that first flight, I wanted to become a pilot,” says Cox.

Three years later, she became the first armless woman to receive her pilot's license. With this training, she has learned how to maintain and operate a plane all by herself.

Though she is very good at this skill, it is only a recreation for her. Most of her time is spent on the road telling her story to others, hoping to inspire anyone who listens to let their dreams take flight.

“If I can fly an airplane, there isn’t much you can’t do. I share that with everyone and that’s what I’ll be doing in Milbank,” says Cox.

If you’d like to hear more about her story, you can catch her in Milbank on Friday, March 10. She’ll be speaking at 7 p.m. at the Milbank High School Theatre and the event is free to the public.

Cox also gives a special thanks to Jim Gesswein of Gesswein Motors in Milbank for sponsoring the event.
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