SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Community on full display Thursday at Western New England University, a local boy with a rare disease getting to live out his passion from the sidelines.
It’s a day that 10-year-old Mason Sudnick will long cherish, thanks to a group of local athletes. The Agawam boy gets the chance to experience one of his favorite sports up close and personal.
A rare condition has led his bones to become brittle, even resulting in a fractured foot and ankle. While this has prevented Mason from taking the field himself, his resilience keeps him moving forward.
The Western New England Lacrosse Team helping Mason get through this tough time. Mason tells 22News, “I do like the kind of aggressiveness and the never letting down, like if you get pushed over, you can always get back up.”
Mason is an only child, but thanks to Team IMPACT he now has dozens of big brothers to bond with and cheer him on. Since 2011 the non-profit has been helping children with serious conditions feel like they’re part of something bigger.
“He’s like our little good luck charm,” said Joshua Gagnon of Dracut. “It brings a smile to all of our faces.”
“It’s always fun every time he shows up,” adds TJ Dalicandro of Natick.
Team IMPACT has matched more than 2,500 children with over 700 universities and colleges.
“To see someone that is going through some difficult have a smile on their face, and be happy around you, it gives you a lot of gratitude,” John Klepacki, Head Coach of WNEU Men’s Lacrosse told 22News.
Erik Sudnick, Mason’s father, is hopeful for a bright future, “We hope that if we can figure out what is going on with his bone density, that we can not only return him to walking, and live a normal life as soon as possible, we’ll get him back out on the lacrosse field.”
The team plans to hopefully give Mason a two-year contract and uniform in the near future.