Photo: David Gunn Photography
Fairfield co-op goaltender Charlie Capalbo was just diagnosed with cancer. His coach, Carl Larouche, says “He’s a great individual with a strong character and I’m confident he’s going to stay positive and he’ll win that battle.” less
Photo: David Gunn Photography
Fairfield co-op goaltender Charlie Capalbo was just diagnosed with cancer. His coach, Carl Larouche, says “He’s a great individual with a strong character and I’m confident he’s going to stay positive ... more
FAIRFIELD — Barely two weeks ago, senior Charlie Capalbo was in goal for the Fairfield co-op hockey team, making 27 saves in a 5-2 Division I tournament loss to West Haven, playing with what pretty much everyone thought was at best a cold, or at worst, the flu.
He was feeling under the weather, but Capalbo was a hockey player and hockey players play through things like colds and flu. Like everything else, Capalbo figured it would go away in time.
But it didn’t.
He went to the doctors. Not a cold. Not the flu either. But after taking himself out of a post-season scrimmage after just one period, Capalbo went back to the doctors for blood work.
By the end of the day, he was in the Intensive Care Unit at Yale-New Haven Hospital.
Charlie Capalbo has cancer.
The cancerous tumor — it is still unknown what kind of cancer the Ludlowe senior has — according to Fairfield hockey coach Carl Larouche, is located near his heart and for now, it’s not possible to operate and remove it. The cancer, apparently, is also in some of his lymph nodes.
“We found out Friday,” Larouche said. “The last couple of weeks (of the season) we’d noticed that he was a little under the weather, we thought he had the flu. But then after the season ended he still wasn’t feeling well and they went to the hospital to get some tests and on Friday they came to the conclusion that he had cancer.”
On March 17 at Yale-New Haven Hospital, Capalbo underwent a five-hour procedure to biopsy one of his lymph nodes and some bone marrow. Doctors also removed fluid. Larouche said that the family was hoping to find out by Tuesday, March 21 exactly what kind of cancer it is and how it will be treated.
“It’s going to be a long battle for Charlie,” Larouche said. “It’s going to be tough, but he’s a great individual with a strong character and I’m confident he’s going to stay positive and he’ll win that battle.”
Ludlowe athletic director Todd Parness sent a text saying, “The support shown by the entire community has been amazing. Many students, faculty members and parents have already started fundraisers and other events to help Charlie and his family through this tough time.”
In these initial days since the news broke about Capalbo’s condition, the support has been overwhelming, according to Larouche.
“It’s just been incredible, his teammates, I’ve talked to the team, as you can expect, they took the news pretty hard, but they’ve been amazing,” Larouche said. “They go to see Charlie on a daily basis, the entire team has been supportive and the hockey family, a lot of FCIAC coaches have called me today, everyone’s involved. They want to set up games to raise money. He’s very happy to get all that support. Charlie told me the other day, ‘Coach, I didn’t realize I had so many friends.’ It makes a big difference.”
A GoFundMe page was created Sunday night by family friend John McCormick, looking to raise $65,000 to help cover the cost of Capalbo’s medical expenses. In just over a day, more than $72,000 has already been raised for Charlie.
“Charlie Capalbo is a close family friend who was just diagnosed with cancer near his heart and lungs,” McCormick wrote on the GoFundMe page. “He is a wonderful young man that just completed a great season as the goalie for the Fairfield, CT, high school hockey team. We are raising money to support his family in their time of need.”
An email message to McCormick through the GoFundMe page was not immediately returned and the family was not available for comment.
Along with the GoFundMe page, the Ludlowe boys’ lacrosse team is trying to organize a benefit game to raise money for Capalbo, with the April 22 date against Greenwich set as the likely target game.
Fairfield finished with a 14-6-2 record this season, losing to Greenwich 5-4 in overtime in the FCIAC tournament. It marked the first time in program history that the Mustangs made the FCIAC tournament and Fairfield also participated in the Division I tournament for the first time.
Here is the link: https://www.GoFundMe.com/charlie-capalbo-be-strong