Ice hockey fan receives scholarship for warning Canucks employees about cancer mole: NPR

Ice hockey fan receives scholarship for warning Canucks employees about cancer mole: NPR


Seattle Kraken fan Nadia Popovici (center) looks at Vancouver Canucks’ assistant equipment manager Brian “Red” Hamilton, left, at the end of an NHL hockey game in Seattle on Saturday. Popovici had written a note to Hamilton months earlier asking him to see a doctor about a suspicious mole that was found to be carcinogenic.

Ted S. Warren / AP


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Seattle Kraken fan Nadia Popovici (center) looks at Vancouver Canucks’ assistant equipment manager Brian “Red” Hamilton, left, at the end of an NHL hockey game in Seattle on Saturday. Popovici had written a note to Hamilton months earlier asking him to see a doctor about a suspicious mole that was found to be carcinogenic.

Ted S. Warren / AP

An NHL official had a cancerous mole removed after a fan of the opposing team spotted it in the stands and asked him to have it examined. He now credits her for saving his life, and the teams are awarding her a scholarship to study medicine this fall.

It all started on October 23, with the Seattle Kraken’s very first home game against the Vancouver Canucks, according to the league. Brian “Red” Hamilton, an assistant equipment manager for the Canucks, was clearing the bench when a young woman sitting nearby noticed a suspicious mole on the back of his neck.

Kraken fan and Tacoma resident Nadia Popovici, 22, recognized the irregular mole from her time as a volunteer in hospitals (the 2019 University of Washington graduate plans to start medical school this fall). She wanted to warn Hamilton, but careful not to make him uncomfortable, typed a piece of paper in large letters on her cell phone and pressed it against the glass: “The birthmark on your neck may be cancerous. Please see a doctor!”

While Hamilton later said he “didn’t give her the time of day” at first, he asked his wife to take a look the next morning and she noticed its strange shape. The team doctor didn’t like the appearance of the mole either, and he removed it within a few days. A biopsy revealed malignant melanoma in situ 2, which means the cancer was only on the outer layer of the skin – and was detected before it could get any more dangerous.

“She didn’t get me out of a burning car like in the big stories, but she got me out of a slow fire. And the words from the doctor’s mouth were, if I ignored this for four to five years, I wouldn’t be here, “he said at a press conference on Saturday.

Hamilton wanted to thank the person who started the chain of events but did not know who he was. So the Canucks posted a call on social media On Saturday, he asked hockey fans to help Hamilton bond with “the woman he thinks is his heroine.”

“That evening, October 23rd, and the message you showed me on your cell phone, will forever be engraved on my brain and made a real life-changing difference for me and my family,” said Hamilton’s letter . “Your instincts were correct and the mole on my neck was a malignant melanoma and thanks to your persistence and the quick work of our doctors, it is gone now.”

He added that the focus shouldn’t be on him, but instead on the “incredible person who takes the time to notice something worrying and then finds a way to point it out during the chaos of a hockey game”.

Nadia Popovici poses for a photo ahead of Saturday’s hockey game between the Seattle Kraken and the Vancouver Canucks and shows the text of a message she showed Hamilton in October.

Ted S. Warren / AP


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Nadia Popovici poses for a photo ahead of Saturday’s hockey game between the Seattle Kraken and the Vancouver Canucks and shows the text of a message she showed Hamilton in October.

Ted S. Warren / AP

The note went up on social media, but Popovici didn’t notice it right away – the NHL says she took a nap on a suicide hotline after her volunteer night shift. Her mother saw the post in a fan facebook group and established the connection.

Popovici – who goes to Kraken games with her stepfather’s season tickets, they say Seattle Times – had already planned to take part in the game on Saturday evening. But it wasn’t your ordinary hockey game.

Hamilton and Popovici previously met for an emotional reunion.

Video material shared on twitter shows them hugging and chatting about their journey, from Popovici’s original discovery of the mole to Hamilton’s far-reaching efforts to find it.

Popovici admitted she was nervous about bringing it up and tried to get Hamilton’s attention when there weren’t many viewers. He told her that he was surprised by her note, but moved by her persistence and felt that he owed it to her to respond and have the mole examined.

They also thanked each other warmly. Hamilton thanked Popovici for her life changing efforts, and Popovici thanked his wife for taking a look and encouraging him to take it seriously.

Popovici also said she was accepted into several medical schools and will start school in the fall, calling the experience a “pretty priceless” way to start this journey.

However, the NHL has put a price tag on their heroism. The Krakens and Canucks have teamed up to award her a $ 10,000 scholarship, which they announced during the game when Popovici’s stunned reaction was caught on camera.

As reported by NHL.com, Hamilton was particularly shocked that Popovici had managed to even see the mole because he was wearing a jacket with a radio attached.

But you don’t have to be a budding medical student to identify melanoma, which is a severe form of skin cancer.

Experts say to look for these characteristics: asymmetry, edge irregularity, color changes, diameter greater than 1/4 inch, and development (or ABCDE). And here’s more of MediaFrolic for applying sunscreen for maximum protection.

This story originally appeared on the Morning edition Live blog.





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Rachel Meadows

Rachel Meadows

Trending topics news writer who enjoys cooking, walking her dog and travel.

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