Hockey Fan Awarded $10,000 After Making Possibly Life-Saving Decision


Taylor Giles Contributor
Font Size:

An NHL fan was awarded $10,000 for medical school expenses from two NHL teams for possibly saving the Vancouver Canucks assistant equipment manager’s life.

Nadia Popovici was given the money after spotting a mole on Brian “Red” Hamilton’s neck during the Canucks’ Oct. 23 game against the Seattle Kraken, according to NBC News.

Popovici got Hamilton’s attention after the game and he went over to the glass by her seat, NBC News reported. Popovici showed him a message on her phone encouraging Hamilton to get the mole checked out. A doctor later examined the mole and confirmed it was a type-2 malignant melanoma. (RELATED: Brad Marchand Signs A Stick For A Young Fan Hit By A Puck)

“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. It was relatively new,” Hamilton said, reported NBC News. “She extended my life. I’ve got a wonderful family. I’ve got a wonderful daughter. She saved my life.”

The Canucks released a letter Jan. 1 on Twitter attempting to find Popovici after helping Hamilton.

Hamilton’s mom saw the message on social media and commented on the post, reported NBC News.

“She hasn’t even seen this message yet as she worked graveyard shift at the suicide crisis center in Seattle so she’s still asleep. She’ll be shocked to see this message!” her mother commented, according to NBC News. “She will be at the game tonight with the same seats. She’ll be so happy and excited to know he got it checked! What wonderful news!!!! She just got accepted into multiple medical schools!”

Both Hamilton and Popovici were able to meet before the Canucks game against the Kraken on Jan. 1, reported NBC News. Both teams awarded Popovici the money during a commercial break.