Hockey fan receives $10,000 scholarship for spotting cancerous mole

Emily Donegan, Reporter

Finding a cancerous mole in the early stages can save someone’s life. Thanks to a concerned hockey fan, Brian Hamilton is one of the lucky ones. 

The Vancouver Canucks and Seattle Kraken, partnered together to award hockey fan Nadia Popovici a $10,000 scholarship to medical school after she spotted a potentially cancerous mole on the neck of Brian Hamilton, assistant equipment manager for the Canucks. 

Popovici had recently been volunteering as a nursing assistant and got very good at spotting the difference between a regular mole and a cancerous mole. When she spotted the mole on Hamilton’s neck, she knew it could lead to a serious health issue. 

In order to get her concerns across, she held her phone up to the glass with the message, “The mole on the back of your neck is possibly cancerous. Please go see a doctor!”

In a recent interview with Brian Hamilton, he explained his utmost gratitude for Popovivi’s persistence. He also felt the need to apologize, because when he first saw the message he brushed Popovici off like it was nothing.

Later the next day, Hamilton realized that he did not know anything about this fan, but he felt that if it was important enough for her to point it out to him, that it was worth getting looked at. “I owe it to this person to get checked out,” said Hamilton. 

After talking to his wife, they decided to go to the doctor and get the mole checked out. Hamilton’s doctor informed him that if he were to have ignored the mole for four to five years, he would not be here. Shortly after this news, Hamilton said, “She extended my life. I’ve got a wonderful family. I’ve got a wonderful daughter. She saved my life.” 

At this point, Hamilton wanted to thank this miracle fan for extending his life, but the problem was, he did not know how to find her. He wrote a letter, posted it on the Vancouver Canucks Twitter page, let social media do its thing, and ultimately was able to find Nadia Popovici. 

On January 1st, Hamilton and Popovici were reunited before the Canucks game in Seattle. Hamilton was able to properly thank her in person. The reunion was captured on the Canucks twitter page.