Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

CHARLIE McGILL SCHOLARSHIP AWARD WINNERS

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

CHARLIE McGILL SCHOLARSHIP AWARD WINNERS

Article excerpt

Hidden behind Ashley Sudol's infectious smile and always positive personality lies a pain no teenager should ever have to endure.

The Fair Lawn senior, 18, already has faced more adversity than most people will face in a lifetime, though you'd never guess when talking to her.

Sudol's inspiring attitude and uplifting character shine through when she speaks about the hardships she's had to cope with before her high school graduation.

Though she's dealt with, and conquered, a multitude of personal illnesses and surgeries since birth, the most painful experience came March 22, when her mother, Lisa, died of lung cancer at 48.

"The night she passed away, all of my coaches, friends and teammates came to my house," said Sudol, the female recipient of the 2013 Charlie McGill Scholarship Award. "There was like 100 people there. It was the worst day, but it also was the best to see all the support from everyone who loved my mom."

Fair Lawn softball games weren't the same this spring without Lisa Sudol, one of the Cutters' biggest and most vocal supporters for years. Though her unexpected death occurred one week before the start of the season, Ashley Sudol, Fair Lawn's starting shortstop, was on the field opening day -- as her mother would have wanted.

"My team needed me," said Sudol, a three-sport athlete who is bound for East Stroudsburg in the fall. "As much as I needed them to help me through a tough time, they needed me to be out there at shortstop. I couldn't let them down after all they'd done for me.

"And that first game, we did awesome. Then we won our first nine in a row. Being at the field helped keep me happy with my team supporting me. It made me want to be at the field all the time."

Sudol showed unparalleled strength following her mother's death, an attitude she's portrayed the past 18 years.

Born with a blockage in her right kidney that took six surgeries over 10 years to correct, Sudol fought on. …

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