Cipriano family fighting against odds 9 years after deadly Farmington Hills attack

10th annual Cipriano Classic set for June 11

The Cipriano family was attacked in their Farmington Hills home nine years ago.

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. – The Cipriano family was attacked in their Farmington Hills home nine years ago.

The baseball attack killed Bob Cipriano, and nearly killed his wife Rose and their son Sal. The couple’s adopted son, Tucker Cipriano, and his friend Mitchell Young, were later convicted of the crime.

READ: Tucker Cipriano sentenced to life in prison without parole for deadly baseball bat attacks

Sal Cipriano was a teenager at the time of the attack. He suffered a severe brain injury and doctors were not sure he would ever walk again. His twin brother, Tanner, and his sister, Isabella, were spared that night as they hid in a closet.

Sal Cipriano and his mother have gone through many doctor appointments, surgeries and hospital stays to heal over the years. While there are still many obstacles they have to face, the family is still holding out hope for their recovery.

Each year the family holds a run to fundraise for the Cipriano Children’s Trust. Sal Cipriano has had a long and arduous road to healing.

“To watch him over these last nine years, how much he has improved from being told that he wasn’t going to survive in the first place and now he is running and talking and doing all these great things,” Tanner Cipriano said.

Sal Cipriano is flying to Florida to meet with specialists. He had a doctor in Windsor but because of COVID closures, he hasn’t been able to cross the border and was forced to find a new specialist.

Now Sal Cipriano goes to Jacksonville, Florida, where much of his therapy deals with vision to rebuild nerve pathways. Doctors are trying to help him master his balance and regain the ability to talk. The speech therapy can be exhausting as he learns to use the muscles in his throat to make the sounds needed to hopefully be able to speak again.

“The two biggest priorities for Sal right now. He is learning to talk again and getting control of his seizures,” Tanner Cipriano said.

Sal Cipriano does like to show off his progress on his Instagram page. The 26-year-old likes to show his humor, tease his brother and inspire others.

He is getting ready for the Cipriano Classic on June 11. He wants to show his friends and family how far he has come, but admits he still has a long way to go. The event is the family’s way of reaching out to the community for support with medical expenses.

“The run is a big part of the community and it brings a lot of people together. A lot of people have supported what we have had over the years look forward to it,” Tanner Cipriano said.

When you spend any time with the Cipriano twins you realize their bond is very strong. Much more than just twins, they are brothers who survived tragedy and are healing together every step of the way.

Sal Cipriano will be getting his high school diploma next wee -- a major accomplishment for him. His little sister Isabella also just graduated high school.

Race information

Registration is open for the Cipriano Classic 5K Fun Run and Walk.

The 10th annual walk is scheduled for Friday, June 11. The 1-mile race begins at 6:30 p.m. and the 5K starts at 7 p.m.

  • Date: June 11, 2021
  • Time: 1-mile race at 6:30 p.m., 5K at 7 p.m.
  • Location: Farmington Family YMCA, 28100 Farmington Rd, Farmington Hills, Michigan 48334

Masks must be worn at the start and crossing the finish line. Social distancing is strongly recommended. All proceeds raised through the race are donated to the Cipriano Children’s Trust.

Click here to learn more about the race, register, or to donate to the family fund.

About the Authors:

Karen Drew is the anchor of Local 4 News First at 4, weekdays at 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. She is also an award-winning investigative reporter.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.