Disability rights advocate Jessica Cox, 35, was born in Tuscon, Arizona, without upper limbs due to a rare birth defect.

However, she has defied all odds and holds two Guinness World Records; the first armless person in aviation history to become a certified pilot and the first person without arms in the American Taekwondo Association to get a black belt.

Today, the author and international motivational speaker continues to inspire people across the globe, as well as mentor children with disabilities.

In 2012, Cox marked yet another milestone in her life when she married Patrick Chamberlain, her former taekwondo instructor.

Among the guests at her wedding were three young girls who were also born without arms, whom she had invited.

What did it mean to her to be able to share her special moment with them?

“It was such an incredible experience because it was a very happy day for me and to be able to share that joy and happiness with them, to let them know that not having arms does not deter them from finding love and from finding someone who loves them for who they are, was a special experience. And I love that,” she said.

Cox has described Chamberlain as her GPS and the one who keeps calm in most situations, especially when she gets stressed out.

Jessica Cox

Cox and her husband outside the US Capitol. Molly Feltner/Handicap International

“Yes, he is a good balance for me because I am very driven sometimes, and can be highly stressed on occasions. He is the balance and grounds me at times when I need it,” she laughed.

So what is married life like, overall?

“Married life is tremendous.

“When I first met you in 2009, I was travelling overseas alone, although my mum came with me on certain occasions,” she said.

(The writer first interviewed Cox when she was in Kuala Lumpur in 2009 to speak at the Women Of Independence conference.)

“But now, Patrick and I are able to do this together. And it’s incredible to be able to share that enjoyment and blessings with so many people together. And not only that, many people also want to know about our married life, and how we are doing this work together,” she shared.

Is there anything that they both fight about?

“Well, we are just like any other couple and we have our challenges. We are always together so naturally, I can’t say that everything is perfect. When we have our challenges, we have to work through them together and remind ourselves that we are part of a team,” she said, adding that they practise taekwondo together at least three times a week.


Find out how Cox overcame all odds to become a pilot and motivational speaker here.