“Flying was my greatest fear in life, and therefore I was motivated to conquer my fear by flying a plane. It is one of my greatest achievements in life and I really worked hard for it."
This is what Jessica Cox, a 26-year-old Filipina-American based in Arizona, told The Manila Bulletin in an interview.
While some might not see flying a plane as great achievement, it is important to note that, unlike most aspiring pilots, Jessica was born armless.
Photo credit: 121five.com
Bearing the Strength of Will and Unshakable Faith of a Filipina
In 2008, despite the overwhelming odds against her, 5-foot-1 Jessica became the very first (and perhaps, thus far, the only) pilot to be certified and licensed by the US Federal Aviation Administration to fly with only her feet – not needing prosthetics and without aircraft modifications.
But apparently, if Jessica ever believed in herself, it is because her mother likewise deeply believed in her,
“I don’t care what other people think; I just let her have a normal life,” Jessica's mom, Inez - who never kept her daughter from doing normal activities like swimming and gymnastics as a girl - said.
Last Tuesday - January 5 - aboard a Hawaiian Airline flight, Jessica arrived in the Philippines to visit her relatives in Samar to give a series of inspiring talks to fellow Filipinos.
“I would like to inspire and encourage Filipinos to do more things,” Jessica shares.
“I want them to realize, ‘Hey, if she can do a lot of things without arms, then I can do so much more with my life.”
Mabuhay ka, Jessica!
Clearly, for you and for all Filipinos whom you inspire and make proud, no dream could be too hard to reach.
[source and story credit: The Manila Bulletin]