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The Michigan State Spartans take on the Virginia Cavaliers tonight in the NCAA Tournament, as the teams via for a spot in the Elite 8.

But no matter the outcome, MSU senior Adreian Payne is already a winner.

The power forward befriended a young cancer patient named Lacey Holsworth two years ago when the team visit a local children’s hospital in Lansing – and now their story has gone viral.

Lacey, 8, suffers from neuroblastoma, a cancer of the nerves, and she regained the ability to walk just as Payne was honored on Senior Night a few weeks ago.

She also helped the star cut down the nets when Michigan State won the Big 10 Tournament this month and has become a mainstay by Payne’s side wherever he goes.

Learn more about this touching story now… and go State!

Adreian Payne and Lacey Holsworth: A Heartwarming Tale

Among other recent, emotional celebrity interactions with kids suffering from this disease: