Tag Archives: Richard Epstein

Charlie And Will Capalbo: Goalies Try For An Amazing Save

Two years ago this month, “06880” reported a heart-breaking — yet inspiring — story.

Charlie Capalbo – Fairfield Ludlowe High School senior and star hockey goalie; grandson of Westport writer Ina Chadwick and Westport native Richard Epstein; son of Staples grad Jennifer Wilde Capalbo — was battling cancer. A tumor near his heart and lungs had spread to his lymph nodes.

Charlie’s Fairfield teammates and classmates rallied around him. So did his parents’ and grandparents’ Westport friends. A GoFundMe page raised nearly $200,000.

It took a year, but after grueling treatment Charlie’s cancer went into remission. He gained weight, felt good, and went off to Fairfield University. It was one of the greatest days of his family’s life.

Charlie Capalbo (Photo/Dave Gunn)

Charlie’s brother Will — now a senior at Ludlowe, and also a hockey goalie — says that being a cancer survivor is like playing that demanding position: “You have to always be prepared.”

But no one was prepared for the news just a month after Charlie started college. He was diagnosed with a new, aggressive form of cancer: leukemia.

Despite the devastating news, Charlie fought as strongly as he had the first time. He kept his sense of humor. He kept smiling.

He was hospitalized for 4 months. He underwent chemo, and radiation on his spine and brain. The goal was to prepare him for a bone marrow transplant.

Family members and friends all wanted to donate. Finding a match is not easy. Finally, at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Charlie and his parents FaceTimed his brother Will with the news: He was a 90% match.

From left: Will and Charlie Capalbo, and their parents on the ice.

Will was thrilled. At last, he thought, he could do something for his brother. The boys were always close, Jenny says. But that kind of closeness is unbelievable.

“Goalies are a special breed,” Will says simply.

Indeed. For Will, being a bone marrow donor meant enduring needles in his back — and missing the end of his senior hockey season.

The procedure took place on February 4. Charlie, Will, his family and friends are all waiting now to learn whether it worked.

Meanwhile, Charlie remains upbeat. He’s been buoyed by the love of his family, the support of countless friends and strangers, and messages of encouragement from NHL stars.

He’s still fighting. This courageous goalie’s goal is to get back on the ice.

(Click here for Charlie Capalbo’s GoFundMe page. Click here for last Sunday’s NBC Sports video story on Charlie.)

Westport Stands For The Troops

When an all-star cast — James Naughton, Leslie Orofino, Robin Batteau, David Buskin and Chris Coogan — takes the stage at the Unitarian Church on Friday, March 15, they’ll do more than sing and entertain.

SFTT logoThe “Spring Fever” concert (plus auction, gourmet food and wines) is a fundraiser for Stand For The Troops. The organization does great work nationally — helping soldiers and veterans through Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, traumatic brain injury and suicide prevention programs — but next month’s event has strong local connections.

The family of Tyler Hicks — the Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer who has spent years covering wars across the globe — is on the Honorary Committee for Spring Fever, and will attend. Tyler’s sister Darcy spoke last year on his behalf. This year, her son’s band will perform.

Leslie Orofino’s father served in  World War II. He returned home with PTSD, a condition that had a profound effect on his family.

Dr. Paul Epstein — a Westport naturopath, meditation teacher and therapist — works with PTSD. He’s on the Westport chapter’s medical task force and honorary committee. His father, too, suffered from PTSD in World War II — and it too impacted his family.

James Naughton and Leslie Orofino

James Naughton and Leslie Orofino

Eilhys England — Stand For The Troops’ co-founder — has seen Westport’s outpouring of support. The wife of co-founder Colonel David Hackworth (America’s most valor-decorated soldier), she hopes to make this town a base for their organization. She will attend this year’s Spring Fever.

The March 15 event is for troops returning home. Some are local; many are not. Wherever they are, Spring Fever provides one more example of Westport meeting the world — and doing it with talent, passion, and plenty of action.

(For ticket information, click here or call 203-629-0288.)