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Remembering Princess Lacey -- Special bond between Michigan State, Adreian Payne and the adorable Little Lacey

April 9, 2014

Updated Story


This posted by Lacey's family on Twitter:

Princess Lacey has achieved the ultimate victory. She now dances among angels.... The world is a better place because you were in it. Our hearts are broken. We love you Doll. Dance all night... Mommy and Daddy, Will, Mitchell, and Luke #LoveLikeLacey  


ESPN Reports:

Lacey Holsworth, the 8-year-old cancer patient known as "Princess Lacey" who forged a bond with the Michigan State basketball team and Adreian Payne, died overnight Wednesday, the family said.


Holsworth had neuroblastoma, a fetal-nerve cell cancer, and wore a blond wig because chemotherapy caused her to lose her hair. She met Payne two years ago while she was in the hospital for a cancer treatment and struck up an immediate bond with him.


She had been a huge supporter of Payne, and he reciprocated by becoming a close friend, visiting her at the hospital and inviting her to games."She is such a huge part of my life," Payne told the Detroit News recently. "And she grew to be part of my family."Payne carried her around the court on Senior Night at Michigan State and she got to help the Spartans cut down the nets after they won the Big Ten tournament and she received a championship hat with the rest of the team.She also was with the Spartans for the East Regionals of the NCAA tournament and accompanied Payne to the College Slam Dunk Championship during Final Four weekend in Dallas.






Cancer patient, 8-year-old Lacey draws support and inspiration from Michigan State’s Adreian Payne.


Michigan State senior Adreian Payne and 8-year-old Lacey have a special connection. They met two years ago when the Michigan State Spartans visited a hospital where Lacey was getting treatment for neuroblastoma, an aggressive cancer of the nerve tissue.


Their relationship has thrived and has touched fellow players, coaches, fans and the sports world."She calls me her 'Superman,' but she's the one who's got the super strength," Payne told the Detroit Free Press. "She's incredible with everything she's gone through. [Doctors] told her she wouldn't walk again. But she did. She's just an incredible fighter. And if I can bring her a little bit of happiness to help her forget everything for a little while, then that's what I want to do."He’s nicknamed her 'princess' and she calls him 'brother' – and Payne treats her like family.


She joined him on the court for Senior Night recently, and later beamed as she helped him cut down the net following the team's Big Ten conference championship win."It can't be all about you," Payne told the Free Press. "I think that's one thing I've learned now that I probably didn't know as a freshman ... It's more important to have a role in other people's lives that you care for."It's a lesson Payne learned through heart-wrenching experience.


At 13, his mother died in his arms following a severe asthma attack while he frantically searched for her inhaler. Later raised by his grandmother, she too died two years ago from asthma complications.This young man is already a champion.


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