‘Such a generous spirit.’ Acts of kindness campaign marks one year since Charlie Capalbo’s death

Charlie Capalbo died on April 24, 2022, at the age of 23, leaving a huge hole in the hearts of those who loved him and a legacy for them to preserve.

Marissa Alter

May 5, 2023, 5:40 PM

Updated 397 days ago

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Friends and family of Charlie Capalbo, the former Fairfield hockey goalie who fought cancer four times, are marking one year since his death by making sure he’s not forgotten, one act of kindness at a time.
Capalbo died on April 24, 2022, at the age of 23, leaving a huge hole in the hearts of those who loved him and a legacy for them to preserve.
“Charlie had such a compassionate spirit, such a generous spirit,” said friend Jill Bodach. “Even when he was in the hospital, he was still thinking of ways to reach out and do kind things for other people.”
That inspired Bodach to use Monday to celebrate his life with an Acts of Kindness campaign. She made up cards and shared them with anyone who wanted to take part.
“When someone does an act of kindness, they leave this card behind,” Bodach explained.
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The front has what’s become the iconic picture of Capalbo—with his goalie mask up and a huge smile on his face—along with the words, “Live Like Charlie. #Capalbo Strong.” On the back, it says, “This Act of Kindness has been done in Memory of Charlie Capalbo. 5/24/98-4/24/22. Live like Charlie. Love like Charlie. Be Kind. Pass it on.”
“My own kids brought flowers to their teacher. People have bought lunch for someone behind them in line. Someone else left dog treats at a dog park,” Bodach told News 12.
Capalbo’s first diagnosis came in 2017. He beat that round of cancer and two more but in January 2021, he found out the cancer was back yet again. At the time, he was a student at Fairfield University.
“Charlie was enrolled in my creative writing class, and unfortunately he wasn't able to finish the semester because he came out of remission and was re-diagnosed.”
But Bodach stayed connected with Capalbo getting to know him and his family. She said she can’t begin to imagine his parents’ loss but as a mom herself, “ I know that one of the things I would want is for my child to be remembered.”
That’s the other half of the campaign.
“Everyone who receives cards today is going to get to know just a little bit about what Charlie meant to people,” Bodach said. “It's all over the country, you know? It's people who are vacationing in North Carolina and took cards with them. And it's people here and it's people in Boston where Charlie was in the hospital, so it's really spread beyond this area.”
Bodach said she plans to do this next April 24 and every year after. She also told News 12 she hopes the campaign inspires everyone to think about being kind on a daily basis.


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