I was immediately touched by this story when I first heard about it, and I think that Adreian Payne, 23, is a very amazing man.
The Michigan State star has formed an incredible bond with 8-year-old Lacey Holsworth after meeting her at Lansing’s Sparrow Hospital at the start of 2012. It was a month after she was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a form of childhood cancer that starts in the nerves. They now text each other every day.
According to her fundraising page, doctors had found that she had two tumors in 2011 — one in her abdomen about the size of a football and another wrapped around her spine. “Within days, the tumors had left her paralyzed” and her family had been warned that she might just have a couple of weeks to live. Thankfully, after chemotherapy, “the spinal tissue dissolved to soft tissue.”
Her cancer was thought to have been beaten last summer, but it came back last fall and she’s currently undergoing treatment.
You can see the special bond between them. When Adreian’s team won the Big Ten Tournament Championship this month, he carried her in his arms as he was honored, and he even asked her to assist him in cutting the net following the game.
“Lacey is my special friend and she’s a good sister to me,” he told BTN. “She has taught me to fight through everything, [and] to always have a smile on my face even when things are wrong.”
As soon as he first met her he was touched by her fighting spirit.
“She calls me her ‘Superman,’ but she’s the one who’s got the super strength,” he said. “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 calls her Princess Lacey, by the way.
Lacey thinks really highly of Adreian and says that he is her brother. When she thinks of him she smiles. They not only text every day, but they also enjoy drawing together and watching movies together, according to reports.
He had also joined Lacey’s family at a fundraiser for Lacey in February of this year. Her dad has said that the family loves him to death, and both Adreian and Lacey both just want to help each other. Lacey’s mom, Heather, also spoke fondly of Adreian.
“There’s days where the smiles don’t come as easily,” she said. “When he can walk in the room and you see her just light up like that, it means everything.”
Adreian’s own mom had passed away in his arms when he was 13 after a severe asthmatic attack, according to the Detroit Free Press. After she passed away, his grandmother became his legal guardian. Sadly, she passed away two years ago.
Here’s a very touching video of Adreian and Lacey: