MSU player inspires Indiana couple to join child’s cancer fight

Michigan State forward Adreian Payne, right, hoists the net with Lacey Holsworth, who is battling cancer and has become close to Payne, after Michigan State defeated Michigan 69-55 in an NCAA college basketball game in the championship of the Big Ten Conference tournament on Sunday, March 16, 2014, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A couple wants to help a little girl in Michigan who has a rare cancer. Her story has been brought to the light thanks to her relationship with Michigan State basketball standout Adreian Payne.

Payne met Lacey Holsworth, 8, of St. Johns, Mich., two years ago while MSU basketball players visited Sparrow Hospital in Lansing. They’ve been by eachother’s side ever since. Lacey has attended many of Payne’s game and he’s taken her under his wing. Their story has gained national attention, inspiring a local couple to help.

“That’s how I got hooked on the story of the little girl who has neuroblastoma and her special relationship with Adreian Payne,” said Suraya LaPan.

LaPan said she doesn’t watch sports, but she saw their story on the Big Ten Network. Her husband, Chris, is a Michigan State alum. He believes this proves that people are more than fans, our sister station WANE reports.

“The vehicle of sports to help raise money for things like this that are non-sports related, I think could be a vehicle for tons of kids like Lacey,” he said.

They’re looking to raise $1,000 to help with expenses Lacey’s family may have during her battle with cancer.

They’re raising funds through a website called Tee Spring. The website helps sell shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies and more with a heart in the center of the shirt saying, “I have a history of victory”. It’s followed with a Twitter handle of @adorablelacey.

If you wish to help with fundraising efforts, click here. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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