Photo: Facebook Page of Jessica Cox
MANILA, Philippines—Jessica Cox does not have arms–but her heart is big enough to help and inspire persons with disabilities (PWDs).
The armless Filipino-American pilot and motivational speaker, along with her husband, Patrick Chamberlain arrived in Manila on Feb. 24, Monday to visit areas severely affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).
The couple was welcomed by Handicap International, one of the nongovernment organizations helping the disabled in Yolanda-affected areas. Cox and Chamberlain are goodwill ambassadors of the said organization, who has been operating in the Philippines since 1985.
“People are still recovering from the storm. They will need support for years to come. We’re excited to see for ourselves how Handicap International’s mobile rehabilitation teams are working,” Cox said.
Cox had her hands full the next day as she graced a speaking engagement and a fundraising event for PWD’s in cooperation with the Ortigas Foundation Library in Pasig City.
Cox and Chamberlain will also visit Guiuan, Eastern Samar, the hometown of Cox’s mother.
“This visit will be like no other. I last visited my family in Eastern Samar in February 2013. Since then, the storm has claimed the life of my great aunt in Guiuan, and damaged each and every relative’s home in some way,” Cox added.
A true inspiration
Cox was born armless because of a rare birth defect. She holds the Guinness World Record for the person without arms to hold a pilot’s license.
She was also recognized as one of the “10 Best Pilots” of Plane and Pilot Magazine and was awarded at the Inspiration Awards for Women in 2013.
The 31-year-old motivational speaker is also a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, a diver, surfer, equestrian, gymnast and tap dancer.
Cox has been in 18 different countries to promote her advocacy for PWD’s. She will be in the Philippines for two and half weeks.