By Libby Hopkins

The Ciani family is a big, loving family. It’s very rare to see just one member of the family by themselves. They are also there for one another in their time of need. Suzanne Ciani was the matriarch of the Ciani family and her husband, John, her sons Chris, Nick, Johnny, and Josh as well as her daughter, Tiffany, were all by her side in her time of need. She was diagnosed with Stage IV Glioblastoma on September 15, 2011. In the ten months after she was diagnosed, she underwent two surgeries removing a total of three tumors. Suzanne fought this horrible disease for almost 19 months.

She lost her battle and received her angel wings April 6 of this year. Her loving family surrounded her throughout her fight. “She will be missed, but not forgotten,” said Chris Ciani, Suzanne’s middle son. “She is in our voices, our hearts and our actions.” He said she taught them how to forgive everything and love everyone unconditionally. “She has been an angel on earth teaching us and loving us and now she is with her Lord watching us,” Ciani said.

In the spring of 2012, Suzanne expressed to her family how she wanted to help cancer survivors and their caregivers. She wanted them to know that they are not alone in their fight. Thus, The Suzanne Ciani Brain Cancer Foundation (SCBC) was formed. “We raise awareness for brain cancer, raise money for research and help all that we can,” Ciani said. “We cannot do this without the help of others.” On October 20, the foundation will be holding its Journey to a Cure 5K Run/Walk at Al Lopez Park in Tampa. Ciani and his foundation are looking to the Brandon community for runners and sponsors. “5K’s are fun and we want people to be healthy, so whether they come to run or walk, we want people to have fun while raising money for brain cancer research,” Ciani said.

They are looking for at least 65 runners but would love to have as many as 200. The registration fee is $35 through October 6 and then it goes up to $40 through race day. Sponsorship levels start at $100 and go up to $500. “The foundation wants to contribute anything that we can to the cure and prevention of brain cancer and help all that we can along the way,” Ciani said.

For more information, you can visit its website at If you would like to be a sponsor for the 5K, you can contact Ciani at 944-8966.


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Libby Hopkins
Libby Hopkins has been a part of the Brandon community for more than 30 years. She is a graduate of USF with a degree in journalism. She has been a freelance writer for The Osprey Observer Newspaper since 2008. She also the Executive Director of Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association. She is a dog mom to her rescue dog, Marshall. She loves being a part of the Brandon Community and she loves sharing positive news about our community.