Fairfield community member and Fairfield Stag Charlie Capalbo passed away on Sunday, April 24 after a five-year long battle with cancer. Charlie’s first diagnosis came in 2017 during the hockey season of his senior year of high school. After treatment, he enrolled in the Charles F. Dolan School of Business at Fairfield University and later faced three additional bouts of cancer.
Charlie inspired the University and the town of Fairfield with his strength, sparking the “Capalbo Strong” movement and raising over $500,000 for his treatment and other expenses through a Go Fund Me page. Countless people across the country rallied to show their support for Charlie over the last five years, from professional athletes, to local firefighters, to young hockey players. Thousands have posted positive messages and words of encouragement, flooding social media with the hashtag #CapalboStrong.
Through the unimaginable, Charlie pushed through with grit, grace and a smile on his face. This is what it means to be Capalbo Strong. Just one month shy of 24 years old, the legacy Charlie leaves behind is immeasurable.
“’Lean on me, and I’ll lean on you. And together we’ll get through… we always do”, said Charlie’s aunt, Rebecca Jarit, in a Facebook post to Charlie’s supporters quoting Ray LaMontagne’s “We’ll Make It Through.”
In the wake of this impactful loss, University students will have access to resources such as Campus Ministry and Counseling and Psychological Services. Charlie’s legacy will continue to live on through the countless number of individuals his strength and story have touched.
He will be dearly missed by the Fairfield community and his fellow stags.