Usually hockey fans aren’t watching the equipment managers during an exciting hockey game between the Seattle Kraken and the Vancouver Canucks. Thankfully hockey fan, Nadia Popovici was, even if it was distracting her from what she really wanted to watch—the actual game. Medical student, Popovici, was sitting in the stands when she noticed a mole on Canucks equipment manager, Brian Hamilton’s neck. It was this spotting, and her insistence on getting a message to Hamilton where the hockey fan saved his life.
Hockey Fan Saved Canucks Equipment Manager from Cancer
Popovici may have just been a fan in the stands, but what this medical student did extended the Canucks equipment manager, Hamilton’s life. Because of her schooling, Popovici had spent plenty of time volunteering in oncology wards, and through those experiences, she knew the signs of cancerous moles.
So when the Canucks equipment manager approach the team bench and she saw a mole that set off alarms in her head due to the shape of the mole. Popovici didn’t waste any time. She keyed in a message on her cell phone and made sure the message was in bold, colored letters so he could see it. She wrote, “The mole on the back of your neck is cancer.”
She got as close as she could to Hamilton and attempted to give him the message by holding up her phone. Although he didn’t read it during her first couple attempts because of all that was going on with the Seattle versus Vancouver game, eventually she was able to get him to read her phone through the plexiglass.
The Canucks equipment manager took the hockey fan seriously, and he went to the doctor after the incident. The doctors took a biopsy and they found that the mole was most-certainly cancerous. Essentially, the doctors said that the cancer would have been life-threatening if he had not gotten it checked out; so that hockey fan saved his life through an on-the-spot prognosis.
Watch Hamilton talk about how her persistence helped him in this video:
“She extended my life. I’ve got a wonderful family. I’ve got a wonderful daughter. She saved my life.”
🗣 Part 1 of Brian “Red” Hamilton’s interview with the media after finding the woman who he calls his hero pic.twitter.com/t5sS8RCZPW
— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) January 1, 2022
Hamiliton said, “It was only on the outer layer of my skin. It hadn’t penetrated to the second layer of my skin and that’s because we caught it so early…And the words out of my doctor’s mouth were if I ignored that for four to five years, I wouldn’t be here.”
In the video he explains that he felt bad for his response to her at the time because, although he did read the message, he shrugged it off and walked away. In that moment she didn’t even know that he would do anything about it. And the Canucks equipment manager explains that once he found out that Popovici was right, he regretted that he had not done anything except shrug and walk away.
That’s why Hamilton went to work trying to find Popovici—the mysterious hockey fan saved his life. And he did eventually…