Life celebration held in honor of 8-year-old Lacey Holsworth - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Spartan community celebrates life of 8-year-old Lacey Holsworth

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EAST LANSING (WJRT) -

(04/17/14) - Basketball brought them together.

Now, MSU player Adreian Payne must say his final goodbyes to his Princess Lacey.

Eight year old Lacey Holsworth lost her battle with cancer last week.

Thursday night, the Spartans, fans and family celebrated her life.

A self-proclaimed princess, it's hard to describe the impact Lacy had on people. But here's a clue - instead of a funeral - her family wants everyone to know that Thursday, they celebrated her beautiful life.

"He's just a really nice brother, and I like it when he picks me up. It just makes me feel happy and safe," Lacey said about Payne in an previous interview.

If you asked Lacey who her best friend is - she would've pointed to Payne. The Breslin Center was more than an arena - it was Princess Lacey's palace.

"It was a palace complete with an adoring public and knights with shining armor," her mother, Heather Holsworth, said in a recording during the ceremony.

Payne met Lacey during one of her hospital stays and they were instant pals. Her favorite part of the basketball games was when Payne dunked.

They held a silent dunk for her at her celebration.

That's how we all met Lacey - through her love of Sparty basketball.

"She's just precious, I mean she's so true and just loving and you know, no matter how sick she is, she always smiled and gave me a hug," said Teresa Riley, who met Lacey a few weeks ago.

Lacey had a nerve cell cancer since she was six years old. Through everything - losing her ability to walk and learning to dance all over again - she smiled, ear to ear.

"And that's how Lacey was, a mixture of grace and grit," her mother said in the recording.

"I've personally never met her, but I feel like she's taught me more than most of my classes have," said MSU freshman Amina Mashhour.

"It made me think life's too short, you should just smile through everything," MSU freshman Hend Aljabawi said.

That's Lacey's legacy - remember to dance, sing and love like Lacey.

Lacey leaves behind her parents, three brothers and a big community of loving friends.

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