‘I’m staying positive’: Brian Suite looking ahead after rare cancer diagnosis following father’s death

Former Punahou athlete who lost father to cancer receives own devastating diagnosis

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The only predictable aspect of life is it’s unpredictability.

27-year-old Brian Suite could have never predicted the unimaginable obstacles he and his family would face over the course of an 18-month period and how much their faith would be tested.

Suite moved from Seattle to Hawaii to be closer to family, following his father Howard’s cancer diagnosis last year in 2018.

However shortly after reuniting with his parents, tragedy would strike.

“One month after I moved home, my dad passed away," said Suite. “He passed away on August 9th.”

The weight and angst of a cancer diagnosis on any family member, brings a wave of uncertainty both physically and mentally.

Following the death of his father, several weeks passed, and Brian grew to feel less and less like his normal self.

“I had been feeling kind of just off I guess," said Suite. "I didn’t really look into it because I thought with everything that was going on with my dad it what was kind of causing me to feel that way.”

After weeks of uncertainty Suite sought medical attention and received news from his doctor he couldn’t believe.

“They did a sample test and it came back as cancer,” said Suite.

Brian, was diagnosed with stage four Sarcoma, a rare illness that affects just one percent of patients diagnosed with cancer.

The stage four diagnosis was a far cry from where he was four years ago, when he was a member of the Detroit Lions pre-season roster, chasing his NFL dream.

Suite earned a tryout with the team following a stellar career at Utah St. University from 2012-2015.

Prior to that Brian was a three sport letter winner at Punahou in baseball, football, and track and field. He and his teammates currently still hold the Hawai’i state all time 4 X 100 medley relay record.

Although sports was always a big part of Brian’s life, it was his attitude toward living that made a lasting impression on those he came across.

Former UH wide receiver Greg Salas played with Suite during his professional career while in Detroit.

“He’s such a positive person and you never forget how people make u feel,” said Salas. “Being around him and the times we spent together we always had a happy and positive feeling and that’s rare.”

Suite’s positive attitude was recently put to the test as the 27-year-old completed his first round of chemotherapy.

The experience was one unlike anything he had ever done.

“It’s scary,” said Suite. “You walk into a facility where there is mostly older people and a person like myself who was 27 always been healthy -- walking into there is a really kind of humbling experience.”

Although the odds are long, Suite draws his strength from his mother Wendy and the out pouring of love and aloha he’s received that he believes will help him win this battle..

“My mom has been everything,” said Suite. “She’s been extremely strong, extremely positive and its hard to put into words what it means to our family but I feel really fortunate to be in this community and to be with all these amazing people around us.”

There will be a fundraiser this Sunday at the Ho’okupu Pavilion at Kewalo Basin from 1-4 p.m., his GoFund me page and Facebook group can be joined by clicking here.

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