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Community welcomes home Phoenix Officer Matt Litman who is battling serious illness

Officer Matt Litman
Posted at 5:05 PM, May 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-03 21:58:55-04

PHOENIX — A Valley community rallied together to welcome home a Phoenix police officer who is dealing with a serious health issue.

Matt Litman, 28, had been in rehab for more than two months. Otherwise healthy, his wife, Stephanie, said he noticed some back pain in January.

Litman said her husband started to see doctors trying to figure out what was wrong when suddenly one night he was unable to walk. She said Matt was ultimately diagnosed with a rare cancerous tumor known as a Grade IV astrocytoma in his spinal cord.

"He is still fighting the battle," Stephanie Litman said.

Litman told ABC15 in about a month they will know how the tumor is responding to treatment. Matt is working to hopefully walk again at some point.

In the meantime, Matt is able to go home, and returned to his north Valley neighborhood on Friday, as neighbors and supporters lined the street with flags and signs.

"He was really overwhelmed, but in a good way," Litman said. "He was really emotional because he had no idea any of this was going to happen. I think also it was wonderfully overwhelming the amount of people that showed up."

Litman said their two young children have been especially happy their dad is home.

"Our one-year-old is, typical baby, so he was just screaming, 'dada, dada!" Litman said. "That was cute and he gave him a big hug."

Litman told ABC15 the community support meant a lot.

"It was nothing short of amazing," she said. "It was really nice seeing everybody that was there to support him and excited to see him come home."

Matt's journey is being chronicled on Facebook.