Armless pilot inspires Wausau students - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Armless pilot inspires Wausau students

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -

Students in Wausau heard a powerful message about beating the odds, and they heard it from someone who has been forced to do that her entire life.

Jessica Cox is like many women. In the morning, she brushes her hair, does her make-up and gets dressed. She even has a pilot's license. But something sets Cox apart, because she does it all without arms.

"After I shared my story for the first time, it not only was rewarding for me, but hearing the feedback from the students, and how I touched them, was unforgettable," Cox told Newsline 9.

The pilot spoke to hundreds of students at Wausau West High School. Her message was one of perseverance and determination.

"How she can do all that stuff is just amazing," Wausau West High School student Julie Edwards said.

Born without arms, Cox says everything is a challenge. But a challenge she's not afraid to face.

"I've always been pretty fearless, and my greatest fear was flying. So it was an opportunity to overcome the fear. Once I tried flying, in a single engine airplane, I was hooked," Cox said.

"The basic challenge of learning how to put on my headset, learning how to buckle my seat belt, and probably the greatest challenge was learning to land the plane. But I think the greater the challenge, the greater appreciation when you accomplish it," Cox said.

Cox says she's had to learn to do everything without arms, including tying shoes and drinking a soda.

"There's a lot of things that hold you back, and seeing how she does everything then you can just be more confident in yourself and be able to persevere through everything," Wausau West High School student Lacie Jacobson said.

"You never know who you're going to touch when you speak and that's what I love about it," Cox told Newsline 9.

And that love was turned into a career, and a message of inspiration, for people around the world.

Jessica Cox is sharing her story again Monday night in Wausau. She's speaking at the downtown airport, starting at 7 p.m. Anyone wishing to attend is encouraged to bring one non-perishable food item. That donation will go to the neighbor's place.

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