ROCKTON — A Rockton couple who dedicate their lives to saving other people is facing a difficult battle of another kind.
Cody Bailey and Jessica Perry-Bailey were married in 2013, he said, adding it was “the best day of my life.”
Jessica is not only an ovarian and breast cancer survivor, but she is currently fighting gastrointestnial stromal adenocarcinoma — a type of stomach cancer — in its third stage, she said. She receives oral chemotherapy on a daily basis, chemotherapy treatments twice a week through a port, and weekly radiation.
Despite the struggles the couple have faced, they still donate most of their time to helping others. Both are volunteer firefighters at Union Township Fire Company in Rockton. Cody is deputy chief and Jessica is the fire police lieutenant.
“Firefighting and getting to save people is important,” Cody said. “When people are running out of a burning house, and we run in to try and save their belongings and their home, it’s an amazing feeling to serve and protect the community.”
Cody, a DuBois Area High School graduate, has been battling blazes for 13 years. His mother and father are also both firefighters.
“I love every minute of it, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world,” he said.
Through the long cancer journey Jessica has faced, the couple depend on their love and support for each other to stay strong.
The cancer she is facing now has been more intense due to the severity of the treatments, and her lack of energy, Jessica said.
This past year, though, she revisited another passion when she started working at Creative Garden Childcare at Jeff Tech (Jefferson County Vocational Technical School) in Reynoldsville.
“Going back to teaching has been difficult, but rewarding,” she said. “The children have become my escape from reality for a short time — they are very supportive and honest.
“I love my job, just knowing I’m teaching them something daily, and helping to create their future.”
Cody and Jessica continue their busy day-to-day lives, raising a son and a daughter, while aiming to better the lives of others, even through a hard time in their own.
“Cody and I have had a close relationship from the start,” Jessica said. “Our bond is like no other, and he’s a great supporter, as well as our children, other family and friends.”