FARMINGTON, Mich. – On Friday, for the first time, Sal Cipriano jogged and walked a good portion of a 5K event that was held in his father’s honor.
With his mother, Rose Cipriano, and his twin brother by his side, Sal Cipriano proved that with hard work and determination, he could overcome anything.
“He’s been here a couple of years, but he's been on the sideline,” twin brother Tanner Cipriano said. “To see (Sal) in the run with us, it means a lot.”
It’s been more than five years since the patriarch of the family, Robert Cipriano, was killed by his oldest son, Tucker, in his Farmington Hills home.
Rose Cipriano and Sal Cipriano survived the April 2012 attack. Tanner Cipriano and his younger sister, Isabella Cipriano, were able to hide.
Friday’s race did not set an attendance record for runners, but it was full of inspiration for the surviving family members.
Sal Cipriano at one point picked up the pace, and when raindrops started falling, he kept pushing on. He flashed a thumbs-up, proving he had a lot more left to give.
Sal Cipriano went from lifting weights in a wheelchair to building enough strength over time to stand. He had a goal of crossing the finish line at this 5K.
After many hugs and photos, Rose Cipriano spoke about how grateful she is for the love the community gives her family.
“It gives me more courage and hope every day to get up and keep doing this, and for me and my kids,” she said.
Tanner Cipriano said he believes the rain was a deliberate sign from their father.
“(He’s) hydrating us (and) keeping us cool,” he said with a laugh.
The annual 5K is a day the community shows the Ciprianos that they are not alone in their recovery.
This was the sixth annual Cipriano Classic. The case made national headlines when Tucker Cipriano and his friend murdered Robert Cipriano with a baseball bat.
"My main motivation was my dad, because he never complained," Sal Cipriano said prior to the race.
The money raised will go toward the family's medical bills.