Nadia Popovici was in the stands behind Canucks assistant manager Brian “Reed” Hamilton on October 23 last year to watch the Vancouver team play at the Seattle Kraken.
The medical school fan noticed a mole on the back of Hamilton’s neck and alerted him to write a message on his phone and press it against the glass separating the fans from the teammates.
“I have a wonderful family and I have a wonderful daughter,” said Mr. Hamilton.
“The words that came out of the doctor’s mouth were if he hadn’t known that he wouldn’t be here for four or five years.
He didn’t know he was there, he pointed at him.
“The way she saw it amazed me.
“I wasn’t too old, I wear a jacket, I carry a radio on the back of my jacket…she’s a hero.”
Mr Hamilton said that after Mrs Popovici got his attention, he asked a doctor to examine the mole.
Mr Hamilton said the mole was removed and found to be cancerous, after removing a larger piece, the results were “negative for everything”.
And the words that came out of the doctor’s mouth: If he didn’t know that he wouldn’t be here for four or five years.
After following Ms. Popovici’s advice, the Canucks employee wanted to thank her, but did not know her name or identity.
The team tweeted a call to find the fan before returning to play in Seattle at Climate Pledge Arena on January 1, and within hours they succeeded.
“The message you showed me on your cell phone will forever be etched in my mind and has made a real difference to my life and the lives of my family,” Hamilton wrote in the appeal.
“His instincts were correct and the mole on the back of my neck was a malignant tumor and thanks to his perseverance and the quick work of our doctors, it is now gone.”
The pair met before an NHL game, where Mr. Hamilton was able to thank Ms. Popovici as the two recalled the most important moment.
“I was too nervous to ask, so I tried to catch up with you at a time when there weren’t many people around.” She told him.
“I am so glad you saw (the message).”
Later, it was announced that both groups had teamed up to award Ms. Popovici a $10,000 scholarship to medical school.