Posted in: Basketball

Lacey Holsworth: Cancer Patient Inspires Adreian Payne Through Friendship [Video]

lacey holsworth cancer adreian payne michigan state basketball

Lacey Holsworth is an eight year old girl who loves dancing, Michigan State basketball and her best friend Adreian Payne. Lacey is also an eight year old girl who has been battling cancer, neuroblastoma, since December 2011.

The two became best friends when the Michigan State basketball team made a visit to see Lacey Holsworth at the hospital where she was receiving treatment. Lacey’s cancer had just been discovered and Coach Tom Izzo brought the team in to give her some encouragement. Instead, Adreian Payne, a forward for the Spartans, found a life long friend.

Since meeting that day, Lacey Holsworth’s cancer battle has served as an inspiration for Adreian Payne. The two have spent the last couple of years getting to know one another. They exchange texts, twitter messages, and she gets to visit basketball games on occasion. But the football sized tumor wrapped around her spine almost left Lacey Holsworth permanently paralyzed or dead. As she received treatment, Adreian Payne was there by her side. What he didn’t know was that he was learning about overcoming impossible odds. Watching Lacey battle cancer has inspired him to never quit when things get difficult.

At one point in 2013, it looked as if Lacey Holsworth and Adreian Payne had managed to beat cancer. Lacey was able to walk, the tumor was gone and it looked as if a miracle had occurred. In the fall, her cancer returned. Battling for a second time would be difficult and could even become discouraging. But Lacey Holsworth faced cancer the only way she knew how, with a smile on her face and Adreian by her side.

When it came time for Adreian Payne’s senior night with the Michigan State Spartans, there was only one person besides his biological family he wanted by his side. Lacey Holsworth. So on Thursday night during the Spartans’ game against Iowa, Lacey Holsworth mustered up her strength to watch her big brother celebrate four years of basketball at Michigan State. Lacey is his biggest fan, encourager, and inspiration. And she was there on the biggest night of Adreian’s life so far, senior night.

No matter how the Lacey Holsworth cancer story ends, one thing is for certain. Lacey and Adreian Payne are best friends forever.

[Image via Michigan State Athletics]

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