Tackling cancer: Suite family fundraiser draws hundreds
Brian Suite graduated from Punahou, attended Utah State where played football, then played professionally for the Detroit Lions.
He moved back home to Hawaii in June 2019 to spend time with his family, as his father, Howard, battled cancer. Howard Suite passed away in August 2019 and Brian himself was diagnosed with stage four soft tissue sarcoma just one month later.
This is an extremely rare form of cancer, affecting fewer than one percent of all people with cancer.
The Suite family's GoFundMe page (https://www.gofundme.com/f/Tackle-Cancer-with-Brian-Suite) raised over $100,000 in less than two weeks.
Sunday, over 400 people attended the Suite family's fundraiser at the Ho'okupu center at Kewalo Basin.
Family and friends flew in from as far away as Japan and North Carolina to support Brian and his mother Wendy.
Friends say the turnout is a direct reflection of Brian's character.
"This is the kind of effect he's had on people," said Greg Salas, Brian's teammate on the Detroit Lions.
"He's just so generous. He'd give you the shirt off his back in an instant," said Frankie Sutera, Brian's teammate at Utah State.
Makua Marumoto grew up watching his older cousin, Brian Suite, play football his whole life.
"He's always been my role model, my idol, on the court and on the field," Marumoto explained.
Marumoto recently committed to play volleyball at the University of Hawaii at Manoa after he graduates high school. While Brian navigates the fight of his life, Marumoto says the family's foundation is unwavering, and he dreams of the day Brian will watch him play volleyball at the Division-I level.
"No matter what happens, we're always here for him. This community, our family, we're behind him 100 percent," Marumoto said.