Boys Ice Hockey Team Commends Fairfield Player For His Courageous Actions


When a cancer survivor finally gets to the long desired step of remission in their fight, the last thing they want to think about is having to go through it all again. For Charlie Capalbo, a former Fairfield Co-Op hockey player, he thought his fight with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoblastic Lymphoma T-cell Stage 3 Cancer was over, until he was told the words no one wants to hear: he had a relapse and he has cancer again. This time, however, he was fighting leukemia. He needed a bone marrow transplant to fight it, which meant he needed to find a match.

Charlie was lucky in the sense that he found his match living under the same roof as him. As soon as his family and friends found out he needed a match, everyone was eager to help Charlie. Soon he found out his brother Will, also a hockey player on the Fairfield Co-Op team, was a 90 percent match. Will’s response upon finding out he was his older brother’s match was emotional. Will was very eager to help his brother, stating to NBC News, “I felt very helpless the first time around because all you could do is be there to support him, but now that I can actually physically help him it was something that brought me to life.”

Hockey consistently remained the glue that held the brother’s relationship together. Not only did the brother’s share a strong passion for the sport, but also a love of playing goalie. Charlie shared to NBC News, “Goalies are like a different breed it takes a special person to step in front of hard rubber coming at your face and I like to be apart of that and be the backbone of the team.” However, when Will agreed to be Charlie’s bone marrow transplant, it meant that Will’s hockey season would have to come to an early end due to preparation and recovery from the transplant.

This season was not just any regular season for Will, it was his senior season; something every athlete looks forward to through their career. The Fairfield Boys Co-Op Ice Hockey Team celebrated Will in his last game as a send off, and Will delivered an amazing performance in the goal with a shutout.

The transplant was completed on February 4, 2019. It will not be know if the procedure was successful for a few weeks. On the 23rd, however, Will was honored and celebrated by many for his noble actions at his team’s game in the first round of the FCIACs. The game took place at Terry Conners Ice Rink in Stamford against the Stamford-Westhill Co-Op team. Stamford High hockey player Gavin Dolan organized the event with the help of Stamford High School Athletic Director, Chris Passamano, and the Stamford-Westhill Boys Hockey Coach, Doug Robinson.

Both teams honored Will and his bravery and the Stamford-Westhill players signed a jersey for Will, wishing him a fast recovery.

“It [the ceremony] was really awesome. It was probably the highlight of my short time here at as the athletic director because it’s everything good about sports. It was our guys stepping up and doing something nice for another guy. It’s that community of sports,” Passamano said.

“It was really impactful and heartwarming and I’m happy our team was able to recognize his sacrifice,” Dolan shared.

Furthermore—through the Stamford Hockey Fundraiser “Chuck-a-puck”—the team raise over $550 for the Capablo family.

Passamano added, “These are the moments that as teachers we need to give our kids the opportunity to teach and learn [from] themselves, so the next time they face a situation like this, they know how to handle it with class and grace, which is exactly what our boys did.”

Although the Fairfield team lost the game, the game was an amazing place to honor a very courageous player.