PHOENIX - It's a challenging time for Phoenix Police officer Matt Litman, who was diagnosed with a rare spinal tumor. Now, there's a major effort to help Litman and his family, and loved ones are also collecting police patches to keep him in good spirits.
It was in mid-January when Litman felt there was something wrong. One day, he woke up with no mobility in his left arm. His wife, Stephanie, says he got an MRI, and that’s when doctors found a mass in his spinal cord.
Symptoms then continued to get worse.
"He woke up on a Friday morning, and within, like, 10 minutes, he wasn't able to walk anymore," said Stephanie.
Litman was rushed to the hospital, and that’s when doctors discovered he has a grade 4 astrocytoma, an extremely rare tumor that’s usually found in the brain, and in people much older.
Litman was 27 at the time of his diagnosis.
"Seeing him go from living and being fine to not being able to do anything on his own is probably the hardest part," said Stephanie.
Litman turned 28 on March 3, while he was in rehab. His family tried to make it as special as they can.
"They came to him through the window. They had a sign, so we got to see them, and then, his squad on the Phoenix Police Department showed up and surprised him as well," said Stephanie.
To continue keeping her husband in good spirits, Stephanie decided to collect police patches for him. It's a hobby he enjoys.
"When we would take vacations in whatever city we were staying in, if he saw an officer, he would ask him if they have patches. He would always bring some with him, and they would trade," said Stephanie.
Now, Stephanie is asking the public for police patches.
"It’s been overwhelmingly heartwarming the amount of people who have reached out to us and are willing to help us and literally drop anything and do anything for our family," said Stephanie.
Employee Assistance Unit
"Patches for Officer Matt Litman"
620 W. Washington
Phoenix, AZ 85003
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