The MSU-Iowa basketball game that was held on Thursday night was a special event for 8-year-old Lacey Holsworth.
Holsworth suffers from a rather aggressive form of childhood cancer known as neuroblastoma. To combat the illness, her young body is daily exposed to radiation.
Its for this reason that her family was grateful that she was able to be gifted a fun distraction. Holsworth spent the evening watching her favorite Michigan Spartan player and friend, Adreian Payne, playing his final game as a senior MSU student at the Breslin Center
Matt Holsworth, Lacey's father, shared his feelings about the unique opportunity for his daughter.
"To see her get outside of that world and back into a normal life and to see her smile and see that joy on her face.. it makes every parent happy."
The connection to the Payne originated about two years ago, when he met Holsworth during a visit to St. Johns Hospital.
Since then, the two have shared a special bond. Payne often spends time with her coloring and reading stories. They also keep in touch via tweets and texts, regularly encouraging each other.
If you didn't see it last night, here's video of Payne carrying Lacey Holsworth out during Senior Night ceremonies. http://t.co/Z2hhdoRyyJ
— Chris Vannini (@ChrisVannini) March 7, 2014
Adreian Payne overwhelmed with emotion knowing Lacey Holsworth fought so hard to be there for Senior Day http://t.co/nKILJiMtgZ
— Sydney McKeown (@SYD_MCK10) March 8, 2014
Lacey Holsworth said of Adreian Payne, "I like his smile and he's a really nice friend."
Through the connection to the MSU basketball program, her family was able attend the Dick Vitale Gala last May. It is an event that meant to raise money and awareness for childhood cancer research.
The Holsworths were able to share a moment with Vitale when he stopped to take pictures with young Lacey and her family.
Vitale, who was announcing the game on ESPN, spoke very highly of Holsworth, saying "She is one courageous young lady, her courage is unbelievable."
"She's easy to fall in love with," said Matt Holsworth, "With her bright smile and personality but it's beyond what we could've ever imagined."
The family will next take part in the Buffalo Wild Wings fundraiser next Money. Ten percent of all proceeds are expected to go to the "One Step Closer" Lacey fund, which will help pay the expenses of Lacey Holsworth's ongoing cancer treatment.
Image via YouTube