Charlie Capalbo, former Fairfield Hockey player, dies of cancer aged 23

FAIRFIELD, CT – Charlie Capalbo, the former Fairfield hockey player who battled four rounds of cancer for five years, has died at age 23, his family has announced.

Capalbo died at 3 p.m. on Sunday – exactly one month before his 24th birthday, his aunt, Rebecca Jarit, said in a Facebook post.

“The depth of emotions we all feel is impossible to describe. We will be forever grateful to the thousands of people who made this trip special, despite every painful setback,” Jarit said, mentioning family, friends, neighbors, the Charlie’s medical staff. and guards.

Capalbo was diagnosed in 2017 with stage 3 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoblastic T-cell lymphoma, shortly after finishing his senior season as a goaltender for the Fairfield Co-op hockey team.

With a softball-sized tumor in his chest, the 18-year-old underwent 36 months of chemotherapy. He began to recover and enrolled at Fairfield University in 2018. Just four weeks into the school year, doctors discovered new cancer cells in Capalbo’s cerebrospinal fluid and he was admitted to Boston Children’s Hospital.

In 2019, Capalbo received a bone marrow transplant from his younger brother, William Capalbo, and Charlie was able to return to Fairfield University in January 2020. But the cancer returned about a year later.

Charlie was in remission during the 2021 holiday season and was able to return to Fairfield, according to his aunt and uncle, Toni Capalbo and Carlos Collazo. Then a follow-up appointment revealed the need for a fourth cycle of chemo.

In February, the hockey community raised more than $18,000 for Charlie during a regular season hockey game between Fairfield and Greenwich dubbed “Capalbo Strong Night.”

In his post on Facebook, also shared on a GoFundMe pageJarit thanked everyone who supported his family throughout his nephew’s fight.

“We will continue to honor Charlie in all that we do,” Jarit said. “We will remain grateful and hopeful and we will recover from this loss the way Charlie wanted.”

Since its inception in 2017, a GoFundMe for Capalbo’s family has raised over $515,000. To donate, visit

GoFundMe is a Patch Partner.


Catherine J. Martinez