The Princess & The {basket}Ball

Iowa v Michigan StateIn my hometown there is a little girl named Lacey. Like many little girls “Princess Lacey”, as she is referred to,  loves to color. And paint her nails. She is especially fond of the color yellow.

And of one 6 foot 10 inch senior Michigan State basketball player.

Adriean Payne knows pain. He lost both his mother and grandmother at an early stage. Perhaps that is why when visiting a local Michigan hospital two years ago, he became fast friends with little Princess Lacey who is in a fight for her life battling neuroblastoma, a rare form of cancer. When Payne first met Lacey, she was paralyzed. A large tumor was wrapped  around her spine. It was unclear if she would ever be able to walk again.

These two are now inseparable. They text. And call. And spend time together whenever possible.

He calls her his little sister. She calls him Superman.

Their friendship has caught the eye of the nation here during March Madness. Newspapers. Bloggers. The nightly news. Why even Jay Bilas, an ESPN sports analyst who has over 666,000 followers on twitter, only follows back one person.

Adorable Princess Lacey. {Follow her on Twitter here}

Recently Lacey accompanied Superman on his senior night during the last home basketball game. While the other players walked with their mothers, he carried Lacey out on his shoulder. And a little while later, she got to help him cut down the net when MSU won the Big Ten tournament. Our local Buffalo Wild Wings held a fund raiser in her honor. She even got to be a waitress.

But all of the fun of being the MSU basketball Princess does not cancel the fact that Lacey is in a battle for her life.

We have been praying for Lacey since before she became a regular part of MSU basketball. Her aunt and uncle are friends of ours here in our little Midwestern town and we get updates as to her progress from friends and neighbors who know their family well.

If you would like to help her parents Matt and Heather pay for her medical expenses, click here to see the Give Forward campaign set up in her name.

I’m sure one Princess and her Superman will be ever so grateful.


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  3. Beautiful story. Thanks for sharing this today. It’s my first time hearing about Lacey and her story touched me. I pray that God will work a miracle in her little life and bless Mr. Payne for allowing God to work through him to bless this little girl.

    Peace to you.

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