Community comes together to support MSP trooper battling cancer - WNEM TV 5

Community comes together to support MSP trooper battling cancer

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Justin Matinkhah (Source: WNEM) Justin Matinkhah (Source: WNEM)
MILLINGTON, MI (WNEM) -

A military veteran and Michigan State trooper has his community behind him as he battles an illness and the bills that come with it.

In August, MSP Trooper Justin Matinkhah went to the doctor for his annual physical. He never imagined he would leave fighting a new enemy - leukemia.

"I can't be thankful enough for the support that they've shown," Matinkhah said.

He has dedicated much of his adult life serving his country and the local community.

After a stint in the Marines he joined the Michigan State Police five years ago.

Now his community is doing its part to help him.

Battling the disease has put a financial strain on Matinkhah's family.

"With the time off of work and the travel and all the other extra expenses. That can add up. It's going to be huge," Matinkhah said.

He and his wife Sarah have two small children in the Millington school district. Sarah is also a teacher at the school.

Now her coworkers are doing what they can to help. They hosted a fundraiser Thursday night during the Millington High School volleyball game.

At the game people sold shirts to raise money for Justin.

Taylor Dantinne, teacher at the high school, is one of the organizers behind the fundraiser.

"It's so great to see everyone support, but it's still not enough. We can't do enough for this family. They are so deserving," Dantinne said.

She said she is excited to see the community come together for Justin.

"This is what Millington community is all about. It's a tight knit community and everyone is there to support each other," Dantinne said.

Justin Matinkhah said he is thankful for all his family and friends are doing for him and his family.

"It's humbling to know that the community is coming together for me," he said.

The volleyball game had a full line up of people playing. They had students from grades six-12 and MSP troopers and staff from the high school.

Superintendent Bruce Martin said it makes him proud knowing so many people came out on behalf of the Matinkhah family.

"Sarah and Justin have blessed us in a number of ways. Now it's our chance to bless them back," Martin said.

Matinkhah's brothers in blue also showed their support on the court and from the sidelines.

"Really speaks to the level of love that the people in the community have for their people in the area," Martin said.

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