An aspiring doctor was gifted funds for medical school after she spotted and informed an NHL manager of a cancerous mole on his neck.
The Vancouver Canucks and Seattle Kraken surprised 22-year-old Nadia Popovici at Saturday’s Seattle game with $10,000 to go toward medical school.
Popovici had attended a previous game between the two teams in October when she spotted what she believed to be a cancerous mole on the neck of Canucks Assistant Equipment Manager Brian Hamilton.
“I put mole, doctor, and cancer in red and made them bold,” Popovici told ABC News’ “Good Morning America.” “I just held it up to the plexiglass and knocked.”
She said Hamilton glanced at her phone briefly and nodded. Hamilton, unnerved by her persistence, went to get his mole biopsied, where the doctor informed him the mole was a phase 2 malignant melanoma.
“His line to me was, ‘I’m going to diagnose you with cancer. I’m also going to tell you that you have an angel in your life, because if you didn’t get that thing out in five years, you would not be here,'” Hamilton told ESPN.
As the Canucks prepared to play Seattle again on Saturday, the team tweeted a letter from Hamilton, hoping to identify Popovici, so he could thank her.
“The message you showed me on your cell phone will forever be etched into my brain and has made a true life-changing difference to me and my family,” the letter read. “Your instincts were right, and that mole on the back of my neck was a malignant melanoma and thanks to your persistence and the quick work of our doctors, it is now gone. … We are looking for this incredible person and we need you to share with your friends and families to help us find a real life hero so I can express my sincerest gratitude.”
After identifying Popovici, the two were able to meet at the game, where Hamilton expressed his gratitude and the two teams gifted her with her medical school scholarship. She will begin medical school later this year.
The internet community helped us find Brian’s hero, Nadia, and tonight they met in person where he got to express his sincerest thank you to her for saving his life.
A story of human compassion at its finest. pic.twitter.com/66ogo5hB1a
— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) January 2, 2022
“She’s the person that did this,” Hamilton told ESPN. “She saved my life. She needs to know her efforts were valid and bang-on, and the reaction to her efforts resulted in this coming off of my body.”
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