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More pink flamingos flock the blocks | Marisa’s Mission aims to fight bone cancer

It is expected that Marisa will be in the hospital for a few more months – all the while, she says, her mission will continue.

SIMSBURY, Conn. — From an upper floor room at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, 13-year-old Marisa Caponetti is battling Osteosarcoma – a rare bone cancer.

Marisa, from Simsbury, has been at the hospital undergoing chemotherapy treatments and surgical procedures since early February. Recently, she had a tumor removed from her right shoulder.

Her fight continues, but Marisa has also been on a mission for other kids with the same disease she has; she's been helping to raise money for bone cancer research at Connecticut Children’s.

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With the help of her family and a team of students in Simsbury, the “Capo Strong” mission is in motion. The plastic pink flamingoes are showing up all over Simsbury as students are “flocking” houses to raise money for Marisa’s cause.

“‘Capo Strong’ is an organization to raise $100,000 for the oncology team here at CCMC (Connecticut Children’s Hospital) so flamingoes are popping up in people’s yards and they pay money to get them off to flock someone else’s house,” Marisa said. 

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Marisa’s father, Gary Caponetti, who is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Connecticut Air National Guard, said his daughter is the General behind the “Capo Strong” movement.

"She has the power to try and help other people also while she’s going through all this which is amazing," Gary said. "Right now, for our fundraiser, our target is $100,000 and we’ve only had it opened a short period of time and we’re at about $40,000 dollars.”

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Dr. Michael Isakoff, a pediatric oncologist, is part of the team at Connecticut Children’s working to get Marissa healthy again and back on her beloved Lacrosse field.

“Marisa is doing fantastically," Isakoff said. "She has tolerated her chemotherapy really well. When we took out the tumor it looked like the chemo killed the majority of it, and now it’s just getting her through the rest of it.”

It is expected that Marisa will be in the hospital for a few more months – all the while, she says, her mission will continue.

“I want to raise money for research,” she said. 

To learn more about the #CapoStrong mission or to donate yourself click here.

Jimmy Altman is a reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at jaltman@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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