Madison Life and Times Spring 2016 - Page 14

Joey and Rory embrace at Marcy Jo’s Mealhouse in Pottsville, Tenn., in 2010. | Scott L. Miley photo She pulled the guy who wanted to stay behind the words of the music to the bright lights of the performance stage and encouraged him to sing. They were eventually featured together on a TV duet competition. Joey grew closer to Rory’s two daughters from a previous relationship. And in 2014, they had a child of their own. They named her Indiana. She was born with Down syndrome. All of those years before, Joey’s performance of “Coat of Many Colors” had taken place at a benefit concert for the family of a local child who was born with the condition. Less than a year after Indiana’s birth, Joey got the news no one ever wants to hear. She was diagnosed with cervical cancer during the summer of 2014 and underwent surgery to remove the cancer. She had another surgery last summer after the cancer spread to her sigmoid colon. A CT scan in late October to prepare Joey for her next round of chemotherapy revealed that she had two quarter-sized tumors on her colon and several smaller tumors scattered throughout her abdomen. The cancer was aggressively spreading. 14 MADISON Joey and Rory came to her hometown of Alexandria to spend the last of her time with her family. Chemo simply wasn’t working. Their medical options had run out. Joey set the goal of living to see Christmas. And she saw it come and go. Inexplicably, five days following the joyous holiday, Joey felt good. “But tomorrow, she could be bad,” her mother said. “You just never know.” Joey then set her sights farther – she wanted to see the Grammy Awards ceremony on Feb. 15. That would be 14 days after the distribution of this magazine. On Dec. 7, the couple found out Joey+Rory was nominated in the Best Duo/Group Performance category for their non-commercial song “If I Needed You.” Her goal is to be there for three important events in her life that week: the Grammys, the release of the Joey+Rory album of hymns Feb. 14, and Indiana’s second birthday, Feb. 17. But only if it’s God’s will. “We ask for your prayers, too. For a miracle,” Rory wrote on his blog. “And even more so, for peace with His decision.” Joey and little brother Justin at home in Alexandria.