Lacey Holsworth, an 8-year-old cancer patient known as “Princess Lacey” died late Tuesday night at her St. Johns, Michigan home with her Mom and Dad holding her in their arms.
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Lacy formed a relationship with the Michigan State basketball team and star forward Adreian Payne over the last the last two years. They met in the hospital as she was undergoing cancer treatments.
Lacey 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. Lacy was there with Payne to help cut down the nets after the Spartans won the Big 10 tournament this year.
Words can’t express how much I already miss Lacey,” Payne said in a statement. “She is my sister, and will always be a part of my life. She taught me how to fight through everything with a smile on my face even when things were going wrong. I’m a better man because of her.
“She said she first liked me because of my smile, but it’s her smile that made America fall in love with her. I know she’s smiling and dancing in heaven right now. My princess is now an angel.
According to ESPN, longtime ESPN announcer Dick Vitale pledged to raise $250,000 toward cancer research over the next month and present a check in that amount in Lacey’s memory during his annual gala to benefit The V Foundation for cancer research on May 16 in Sarasota, Fla.
Lacey Holsworth had neuroblastoma, a fetal-nerve cell cancer. Lacey is survived by her parents, Matt and Heather, and brothers Will, Mitchell and Luke.