Thousands Pay Tribute to Spartan Cancer Victim

Posted at 10:30 PM, Apr 17, 2014
and last updated 2014-04-18 02:05:57-04

EAST LANSING, Mich. ( April 17. 2014) — It was a night of bittersweet laughter and tears.  Thousands of people gathered in East Lansing to remember 8-year-old Lacey Holsworth who lost her battle to cancer last week.

The little girl, who was known as “Princess Lacey” was a huge fan of the Michigan State Spartans, and even helped Adreian Payne cut the net after winning the Big 10 Championship.

It was an emotional night with home videos of little Lacey dancing around her house and professing her love for the Spartan basketball team.

“What are some things you want kids to know that had cancer? What would you tell them?” Lacey’s mother Heather said on the home video. “Just keep believing in God and keep praying and just try to stay strong,” said Lacey.

With her family in the front row and thousands more packed into the Breslin Center, friends, strangers and the Spartans  came together to celebrate the life of Lacey Holsworth.

“I’m the one who fell in love with her first. There’s not enough words in the whole world or pages in a book to do her justice, but Lacey, mommy’s going to try her very best because you wouldn’t have it any other way,” Heather Holsworth said on a recorded message to the crowd.

Two years ago, Lacey befriended MSU basketball player Adreian Payne, calling him her big brother.  Payne carried Lacey onto the court after their Big 10 Championship win.

On Thursday night, the basketball team stood in her honor and even recorded a special message.

“Lacey,  thank you for everything that you’ve taught us. For teaching us how to smile, how to laugh, to have a caring heart, to never stop fighting and most importantly to never stop loving,” the team said on the video.

Lacey was diagnosed with cancer at age six, after doctors found a tumor on her spinal chord, which limited her ability to walk. That was something very devastating to the little girl who loved to dance.

“I miss you Lay Lay. My heart is lost without you. I will never be the same, but that’s okay because I’m still learning from you. I hope you like your special party today. We tried our best to show who you really are,” Heather Holsworth said.

If you would like to keep Lacey’s memory alive, memorial bracelets are being sold with all proceeds going to charity. You can click here to purchase one.

Also, the family said they encourage everyone to donate to any charity of your choice in Lacey’s name.