ARIZONA – A Filipino-American armless pilot offered her Guinness World Records medal to Pope Benedict the XVI during her trip to Rome, Italy.
Jessica Cox went to Rome last month where she personally offered her recent achievement to the Pope.
“He embraced my face. It was unexpected. And I told him ‘I like you to have this medal--Guinness World Record medal’--and he did not response. And then I said, ‘Please pray for my mother who is sick and my brother who will become a priest’. And he said, ‘I will. I will’.”
Cox was born without arms but she was raised to believe that she can do anything.
Despite her disability, Cox engaged in gymnastics, taekwondo and swimming.
“Ang pinaka-masaya noong makakain siya sa paa, naglalaro siya sa paa, panatag na ang loob ko na ito’y magagamit na yong paa niya na parang kamay. At saka magiging independent na siya, kasi iyon ang inaalala ko noon, paano siya makakaano sa buhay,” said her mother Inez Cox.
In 2008, Cox decided to become a pilot. When she earned her pilot’s license, the Guinness World Record honored her as the first female pilot to fly a plane using only her feet.
“They found out about me thru YouTube and some videos and they emailed me and said, ‘We'd love to have you on Guinness World Record Show’. And I said ‘I'd love to go to Italy because I haven't been to Italy’.” Cox said.
According to Cox, her medal symbolizes the importance of life—with or without disability.
“This medal, I could not receive just by mere human ability. It’s really from above,” she said.
At the age of 28, Cox said she learned a very important lesson in life which she plans to continue sharing with the Filipino people.
“My message to all Filipinos watching: nothing is impossible,” she said. Nadia Trinidad, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau Chief