Joey and Rory Feek’s daughter, 2.5-year-old Indiana, started crawling earlier this week, according to a Facebook post shared by Rory. Indiana Feek, who has Down Syndrome, reached the milestone just five months after Joey’s death due to complications from cervical cancer.
The inspiring video shows Rory Feek on multiple occasions getting down on all fours in an attempt to demonstrate to Indiana how to move. The video footage is appropriately set to Chris Brown’s song “Crawl” and as Indiana smiles proudly at her accomplishment throughout, the celebration and cheers from her father Rory are enough to melt your heart.
Joey and Rory Feek had been a prominent musical duet known simply as Joey and Rory in both the country and spiritual categories since 2008. The Feeks had several songs break the Top 30, and were nominated for their first Grammy in 2016 for Best Country Duo Performance for their song “If I needed You.”
Married in 2002, Joey became a stepmother to Rory’s two daughters Heidi and Hopie Feek. In 2014, Joey gave birth to her and Rory’s daughter Indiana at home naturally. It wasn’t until a few days later when genetic testing was done that the Feeks discovered Indiana had Down Syndrome. Just a month after Indiana’s birth, Rory took to the Feeks’ blog to share with the world how they felt about the diagnosis, according to Taste of Country.
“Although that news came at first as a surprise to us, Joey and I wouldn’t have changed a thing,” Rory said. “…We trusted that God would give us the baby He wanted us to have… and He has. Out of all the parents in the world, He has chosen us to care for and raise this special gift. The baby is healthy and doing wonderful and Joey and I are loving each and every minute that we have with her. We can’t wait to see where this new chapter in our lives leads us and what wonderful story unfolds in the coming years.”
Though the Feeks had just discovered the challenges that lie ahead for them in regard to Indiana, little did they know that an even more difficult battle was just around the corner. Just two months after giving birth to Indiana, Joey Feek would be diagnosed with cervical cancer and undergo a hysterectomy. In 2015, after noting she wasn’t feeling well, Joey went to the doctor for a check up and discovered that her cancer had spread.
After months trying chemotherapy, the Feeks discovered that Joey’s cancer was terminal and decided to no longer pursue aggressive treatment. Eventually put on hospice care, Joey passed away on March 4, 2016 at the age of 40.
While Rory documented Joey’s cancer fight on social media for their fans, Feek also found it to be therapeutic for himself. According to People, Rory announced in June that he would release the documentary To Joey, With Love for one night in theaters. The documentary, which chronicles Joey’s battle with cancer, will show on the night of September 20, just ten days after what would’ve been Joey’s forty-first birthday. Though Joey may not have gotten to celebrate her own birthday this year, Feek was able to hold on for Indiana’s second birthday.
Despite vowing to give up his musical career after the death of his wife, Rory Feek continues to move on in other ways. Rory says he will be releasing a book centered around his blog later this year and notes that much of it revolves around his wife Joey. And though her mom might not be here to witness Indiana Feek’s victories in achieving milestones, Indy’s dad will be there, right next to her and crawling along too.
[Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images.]