The Sideshow

Woman born without arms is both a black belt and a licensed pilot

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Jessica Cox works on her Taekwondo form (Indigogo)

Earning a black belt in the marital arts or being issued a pilot’s license are both substantial accomplishments that take years to achieve. But 30-year-old Jessica Cox has achieved both despite being born without arms.

Cox first rose to fame in 2008 when the Guinness World Records recognized her for becoming the first person without arms to fly an airplane.

And now, the Arizona native is the subject of a new documentary, “Rightfooted,” which Cox says she hopes will serve as an inspirational and teaching tool to disabled youth around the world.

“Had I watched a film similar to this one earlier in my life, I know it would have made a difference,” Cox says in a trailer for the film. The International Documentary Association is sponsoring the production of Rightfooted, which has already surpassed its $30,000 fundraising goal posted on the crowd-funding site Indiegogo.

“Jessica Cox has learned to do all of those things and much more — with her feet. Against all odds but with strong faith and the help of her family, she put herself through high school and then college, typing papers with her toes,” reads a summary of the film on the site. “She got her driver’s license and then astonishingly, her pilots license – a feat that landed her in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s only armless pilot.”

Cox says her current goal is to become a motivational speaker, particularly for other children born without arms. But she says she believes her message can reach millions of youths working to overcome a variety of disabilities.

As the next step in that quest, she has been invited by Handicap International to work with disable students in Ethiopia.

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