When Nadia Popovici saw a small mole on the back of Brian Hamilton’s neck last October during an NHL game between the Vancouver Canucks and the Seattle Kraken, she wasn’t sure if the Canucks assistant team manager knew. that was there.
To get Hamilton’s attention, he typed a message on his phone and pressed it against the plexiglass that separated the crowd from the ice.
“The mole on the back of his neck is possibly cancerous,” wrote the 22-year-old fan. “Please go see a doctor!”
“Mole”, “cancer” and “doctor” were selected in bright red letters.
Popovici later told the Seattle Times that he had voluntary in hospitals, “surrounded by many melanomas.” So when he saw the diameter, raised shape, and “ragged edge” of the mole on Hamilton’s neck, he knew he had to alert him.
Hamilton looked at the message. He later said that he thought: “Well that’s weird.”
He rubbed the back of his neck and kept walking. But later that night, he asked his partner if he could see the mole. When he said he could, Hamilton consulted a team doctor, who “didn’t like the way he looked either.”
Hamilton had the mole removed and analyzed. It turned out to be a type 2 malignant melanoma, a skin cancer that is curable if caught early. Within a week, Hamilton was cancer free.
On Saturday, Hamilton posted a shout message on Canucks Twitter page.
“I am trying to find a very special person … [who] it changed my life, ”he wrote. “That night, October 23, and the message he showed me on his cell phone will be forever etched in my brain and has made a real difference that changed my life and that of my family.”
Hamilton thanked the fan who did “his best to get my attention from the stands while I did my job on the Canucks bench. We are looking for this amazing person and we need you to share her with your friends and family to help us find a real life hero so I can express my sincere gratitude. “
Within hours, they found Popovici. He had been sleeping at his home in Tacoma, Washington, after working nights at a suicide crisis center in Seattle.
As the holder of a Kraken season ticket, he was already planning to attend that night’s game between the Canucks and the Kraken. Both teams invited her to meet Hamilton.
“It was his effort and his persistence … the way he wrote it on his phone,” Hamilton said during an emotional meeting. “I owe it to this person to get it checked out, if it got that far. I don’t know her, I don’t know anything about her. “
Popovici told Hamilton: “What a wonderful way to start my journey to medical school. It is quite invaluable. “
During a timeout in Saturday’s game, the Canucks and Kraken Announced a $ 10,000 scholarship to Popovici, for medical school tuition. Popovici, who sat in the same seat from which she saw Hamilton’s mole, was overwhelmed with emotion.
The Canucks won 5-2. They later tweeted a picture of Hamilton and Popovici taking a selfie together. The caption: “The biggest win tonight.”
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism