Lacey Holsworth is “Dancing Among Angels”

Posted Wednesday April 9, 2014 2:06 PM GMT

Every once in awhile an extraordinary child comes along and touches the hearts of millions with divine love and strength, and Lacey Holsworth will not soon be forgotten.

The eight-year-old St. Johns, Michigan native passed away on Tuesday night (April 8) after battling a rare cancer called neuroblastoma for a long three years.

During her stay at Lansing’s Sparrow Hospital, Lacey struck up a beautiful friendship with Michigan State University basketball player Adreian Payne, who took her under his wing and made her final years extra-special.

Lacey’s mother Heather previously told press, “There's days where the smiles don't come as easily. When he can walk in the room and you see her just light up like that, it means everything.”

And when Payne’s team won the Big Ten Championship, he invited “Princess Lacey” to help him cut the net from the basketball hoop. “Lacey is my special friend and she's a good sister to me,” he shared. “She has taught me to fight through everything, to always have a smile on my face even when things are wrong.”

Around 3 am on Tuesday, Lacey’s Instagram announced her death- “Princess Lacey has achieved the ultimate victory. She now dances among angels. The world is a better place because you were in it. Our hearts are broken. We love you Doll. Dance all night... Mommy and Daddy, Will, Mitchell and Luke.”

Adreian’s head coach Tom Izzo told press that he’s been dealing with the loss the best he can. “Even though he knew this was inevitable, it’s hard. But he took it with the class and dignity that she taught him. I told him, ‘Not everybody gets to touch somebody’s life like you have. And sometimes other people impact your life, too.’”

Photo Credit: Getty Images