EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Tributes to an 8-year-old girl who died after a battle with cancer have been painted over on a rock at Michigan State University that serves as a campus message board, despite efforts by some students to keep the memorial intact.
On Monday morning, The Rock had been painted with the message "Congratulations graduates" and "Be a hero to someone."
Last week, ahead of a memorial event for Lacey Holsworth at the school, some students spread out on blankets on the grass next to The Rock to keep others from painting, the Lansing State Journal reported (http://on.lsj.com/1eU2TNj ).
Affectionately known as "Princess Lacey," her battle with nerve-cell cancer inspired the Michigan State basketball program and strangers who followed her story. She died April 8 at her home in nearby St. Johns.
During a vigil the night after she died, some painted The Rock and others wrote messages on it. Michigan State star Adreian Payne, who befriended Lacey during one of her hospital stays, wrote on the rock along with basketball coach Tom Izzo.
Michigan State student Alex Everard said he thought that the tribute to Lacey should remain until the end of the semester.
"Given the impact that Lacey has had on the MSU community and given the short amount of time that's left in the semester, there aren't many things that outweigh the message that's on the Rock right now," he said.
Everard, who wrote poetry for Lacey during the final days of her life, said he was certain The Rock eventually would be repainted, but that the memory of her would persevere.
"It's the students' rock," Everard said. "Lacey doesn't live on through the rock. She lives on through all of us."