Woman with no arms finds a fan in St. Paul girl

Yes, I know you’re probably sick of posts from Oshkosh, Wis., but here’s one more anyway. Move along now if you wish.

Jessica Cox, 32, was born with no arms. A few years ago she flew an Ercoupe plane into Oshkosh as a teenager with a story to tell. She doesn’t say, “I can’t.”

Photo: Nicholas Spark

Last week she presided over the screening of a new documentary about her life, “Right Footed.”

The doc’s blog showed why that’s a pretty big deal when a little girl and her family traveled from St. Paul to see her.

On Friday, about an hour before the second screening, a young mother showed at the Skyscape Theater with her three-year-old daughter RE. She’d heard about the screening and driven six hours to be there, because RE like Jessica was born without arms.

Jessica, who’d been signing books and posters in her “Oshkosh mode”, immediately switched back to being a mentor – a quiet, patient friend to this little girl and her mother. She showed her how she ties her shoes, and signed a poster so that she could see how she writes with her toes.

Then Jessica had a spectacular idea! The previous day she and Pat noticed an Ercoupe parked across a runway, a quarter mile away from the museum. Could Jessica show RE how she pre-flights and gets in a plane, and give her an experience she’d never forget?

It was a terrific notion but seemed impossible given that the next screening was only forty minutes away – and the plane was across a busy tarmac. Fortunately one of Nick’s friends Cam Martin – EAA’s head chaplain – was there and had overheard the plan, and guess what?

It turned out Cam not only had a car, but he had the special permit needed to get across the field and deliver Jessica and Ari to the airplane. Jessica got to share fifteen very special minutes with RE and showed her the plane and, with Cam’s permission, she drove everyone back to the theater with her own two feet.

Needless to say the visit gave RE’s mother an enormous boost, and showed RE how she can accomplish anything. It made the entire visit to Oshkosh – which was already a spectacular success – feel incredibly worthwhile.

(Video link)