Charlie Capalbo, the Fairfield man whose battle with multiple cancers brought joy to the community and hockey world at large and in the distance passed away this past Sunday. He was aged 23.
Aunt of Capalbo Rebecca Jarit shared the news via a post on Facebook. A family close friend John McCormick confirmed the news. McCormick created a GoFundMe page which has raised over $500,000 since 2017 along with an official welcome home parade in December of this year.
In her blog, Jarit wrote “After 745 hours and five long years in hospitals, let’s say that we got Charlie during the 4th overtime this morning. He died at 3:00 pm exactly one month prior to his 24th birthday.
“While it is devastating, Charlie, his family and friends, his neighbors, community members doctors, nurses, clinical assistants, technicians children’s life experts, valet staff cafeteria staff, administrative and maintenance staff as well as volunteers and security personnel etc. They all went more than anyone could have expected for all these decades,” Jarit added. “So several lessons have been learned and inexhaustible amounts of support and love were provided. The emotions that we experience is impossible to put into words. We will always be thankful to the many people who have made this whole journey unforgettable, despite each difficult defeat.
“We are determined to be a tribute to Charlie in all we do. We will remain optimistic and grateful, and be able to recover from this loss in as Charlie was hoping for us to. Jenny, Anthony, Will and Peyton wish to thank all who have supported Charlie and their family.”
A routine check in February showed the fact that Capalbo had been fighting against cancer the fourth time, and leukemia for the third time. A MRI “indicated the faster progress of disease than anticipated,” a Facebook update declared, and he’d received treatment in Boston since.
Capalbo’s battles drew nationwide attention. In the event that his younger brother Will”Will” was his recipient to receive a bone-marrow transplant in February 2019 , during the second battle NBC Sports aired a feature about the family in their Hockey Day In America broadcast. NHL coach and players were among numerous who visited or left messages, as did other athletes from the professional world.
The hockey community of the state came together to support the state’s hockey team with fundraising and help. His high school team was that of the Fairfield co-op, displayed his No. 30 sweater on the bench during games.
Capalbo’s initial diagnosis — non-Hodgkin lymphoblastic leukemia T-cell Stage 3 cancer was announced in the year 2017 at the close of his hockey senior season with Fairfield. After he began suffering from frequent flu-like symptoms, doctors discovered a tumor on his chest. He was in remission when he was diagnosed in October 2018, when a blood test found acute myeloid leukemia.
After he endured this round, the pain and suffering resulted in a second leukemia diagnosis at the beginning of January in 2021. When his return home was in December, a large crowd walked through his house to welcome his return.
A GoFundMe page that raises funds in support of families in the Capalbo family has raised more than $500,000 over the five years following the first diagnosis.
Capalbo has two parents: Jennifer as well as Anthony, and his brother, as well as other relatives. His girlfriend Peyton Siegel was among the frequent visitors at his bedside during Facebook posts from the family of Capalbo frequently written in the form of “Aunt Becky,” Rebecca Jarit.