Focus on Abilities, a series: Jessica Cox4 min read

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Ruh Global Communications Logo designed by Emily Ha

Debra Ruh, CEO of Ruh Global Communications, Founder of TecAccess

Debra Ruh, CEO of Ruh Global Communications, Founder of TecAccess

By Debra Ruh, CEO and Founder of Ruh Global Communications

I am writing a series about people with abilities and am proud to tell the story of one amazing woman named Jessica Cox.

Pilot, Jessica Cox standing by a plane. Image from www.katolik.ru

Pilot, Jessica Cox standing by a plane. Image from www.katolik.ru

I am blessed to meet interesting people all over the world that are making a difference. It is time to celebrate our differences and understand that we come in all shapes, sizes, colors and abilities.

Many years ago a neighbor told me that she cried for me

A photo of Sara Ruh as a baby

A photo of Sara Ruh as a baby

every night because our daughter Sara was born with Down syndrome. I was shocked because I never thought of Sara being born with Down syndrome as a “tragedy”. Sara has so many gifts and I believe she is perfect the way she was born. She was born with hazel eyes, brown hair, a beautiful soul and Down syndrome. As she grew she complimented these god given talents with a good sense of humor, quick smile, compassionate heart and other talents.

My daughter, Sara Ruh, using different Apple Products simultaneously. Sara has Down Syndrome and loves the Accessibility Features that Apple's Products offer

My daughter, Sara Ruh, using different Apple Products simultaneously. Sara has Down Syndrome and loves the Accessibility Features that Apple’s Products offer

It is time to rethink the negative connotation of a person with disabilities and instead focus on the entire person. Each of us has abilities and disabilities. As we live our lives our gifts, ability and disabilities shift and change.

Jessica Cox is a perfect example of someone that is using all her abilities to make a huge difference in the world.

Jessica Cox a 30 year old born with no arms but born with many other talents. From a young age she was determined to make a difference and fully embrace her life. She is a beautiful, talented and amazing young woman.

Jessica cox, Pilot and Motivational Speaker. Image from: http://media.azw.s3.amazonaws.com/

Jessica cox, Pilot and Motivational Speaker. Image from: http://media.azw.s3.amazonaws.com/

Jessica Cox has achieved more using just her feet than most people. She also decided at a young age to not let anything get in the way of accomplishing her dreams. She achieved a black belt in Taekwondo at the tender age of 14. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona by typing papers with her toes.

She always dreamed of becoming a pilot, and in 2008, after years of persistent effort, she achieved this goal by soloing a single engine 1946 415C ErcoupeAirplane. Cox loves adventure sports—rock climbing and snowboarding to name a few—and she just made her first sky dive in January. Cox is named in the Guinness World Record for being the first armless person certified to fly an airplane.

Jessica cox, Pilot and Motivational Speaker. Image from: http://globalnation.inquirer.net/

Jessica cox, Pilot and Motivational Speaker. Image from: http://globalnation.inquirer.net/

She is also a sought after motivational speaker, mentor, and advocate for living your life to the fullest. She has traveled the world from Europe to Australia and Africa, sharing her inspirational story. She has spoken at the World Economic Forum and the Pentagon, met Pope Benedict XVI and President Obama, and appeared on The Ellen Show and CNN. She also recently won a Susan G. Komen Inspiration Award.

Her speeches emphasize the importance persistence and dreaming big. “There are two words I’ve eliminated from my vocabulary,” Cox says. “’I can’t.’ Because once you say those words, you’ve already failed.” She also emphasizes the importance of inclusion and opportunities of for persons with disability.

Jessica Cox sitting on the side of a plane. Image from www.marieclaire.com

Jessica Cox sitting on the side of a plane. Image from www.marieclaire.com

A documentary called RIGHTFOOTED is being created to document Jessica Cox’s life. Her goals are to change attitudes about

Jessica Cox writing. Image from: http://winnerswithinus.com/

Jessica Cox writing. Image from: http://winnerswithinus.com/

what’s possible, and to inspire change. Want to learn more about Jessica Cox and her most recent project? Visit her Indiegogo campaign at bit.ly/Xyx15O where she is currently raising funds to support a trip to Ethiopia to advocate for disabled kids. For more information please see the press release at http://bit.ly/WfxlZj.

Please help me spread these stories by sharing them with your networks. You can find more information about my work at www.RuhGlobal.com. Please follow me on Twitter, Linked-in, SKYPE, Tumblr, Facebook, Pinterest: @debraruh

 

 

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To follow up on Debra Ruh’s current endeavors, follow her on social media: @DebraRuh or visit Ruh Global Communications

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