Charlie Capalbo is not a Westporter. He’s a senior at Fairfield Ludlowe High School.
But his ties to this town are long and deep. Everyone here knows his grandmother: writer/poet/storyteller Ina Chadwick. Her husband, Richard Epstein — Charlie’s grandfather — is a Westport native; his parents moved here in 1958.
Charlie’s mother, Jennifer Wilde Capalbo — Ina’s youngest daughter — is a Staples graduate. For many years, she worked at a Westport asset management company.
Charlie’s aunts are Nina Wilde and Becky Wilde Goldberg Jarit. Years ago — to support her former Staples boyfriend, who suffered from lymphoma — Becky began running in charity events. She completed her first New York Marathon this year, at 50.
Charlie has led a pretty good life. This winter as a goalie, he helped the Fairfield co-op ice hockey team make history. For the first time ever, the Mustangs qualified for the FCIAC and state Division I tournaments.
But other parts of his life are not good at all.
A few years ago, his house burned down. And just a couple of weeks ago — after making 27 saves in Fairfield’s 5-2 state tournament loss to West Haven — Charlie was diagnosed with cancer.
His tumor is located near his heart and lungs, and has spread to his lymph nodes. Doctors say right now, an operation is not possible.
Charlie has already had a 5-hour biopsy at Yale-New Haven. Many more procedures lie ahead. Chemo starts tomorrow.
The Fairfield community — led by his coach and teammates — have rallied around Charlie.
A GoFundMe page was created Sunday night. In just 3 days, it’s already brought in over $129,000.
And that’s without most of Westport knowing his story.
Now we do.
(Click here for Charlie Capalbo’s GoFundMe page.)