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Seattle Kraken Fan Awarded 10k Scholarship for Her ‘Lifesaving’ Note

Published on January 5, 2022

View of sign saying Seattle Kraken

A Seattle Kraken fan has been awarded $10,000 towards her medical school education after spotting a malignant mole on Vancouver Canucks assistant equipment manager Brian “Red” Hamilton’s neck last October. The future MD, Nadia Popovici, was sitting in the stands at the Kraken’s inaugural home game at Climate Pledge Arena when she noticed the mole on Hamilton’s neck and began banging on the glass to get his attention.

When Hamilton looked back at her, Popovici held up a message on her phone to let him know her concerns about the mole.

The message, written in the Notes app on her phone, read, “The mole on the back of your neck looks like it might be cancerous. You might want to go see a doctor.”

Seattle Kraken Fan Notifies Canucks Staffer of Cancerous Mole 

In response to the note, he later had a biopsy done by Canucks team doctor Jim Bovard, who found that indeed, the mole was a malignant melanoma which could have killed him if left unaddressed.

If Popovici hadn’t alerted Hamilton of the potentially cancerous nature of the growth, the melanoma would have spread to other parts of his body, which could have been potentially fatal.

According to the American Cancer Society, the risk of melanoma increases as you age, but it’s also one of the most common cancers among young adults, especially among women. However, melanoma is more common in men overall, and it’s 20 times more common among white people compared to Black or Latinx people.  

Seattle Kraken and Vancouver Canucks Team Up on Scholarship

Now, the Seattle Kraken and the Vancouver Canucks have teamed up to offer the future doctor $10,000 to put towards her medical school education. Popovici was visibly stunned by the news, which was announced during another game recently.

Hamilton and Popovici shared a touching moment afterwards, embracing each other in a heartfelt hug. The assistant equipment manager of the Seattle Kraken credits Popovici for saving his life.

Given Popovici has already saved a life and she’s not even an official doctor yet, it’s safe to say that she’ll touch many more with her healing gifts in the future. We’re looking forward to seeing what other inspirational people are hiding in the stands at hockey games!

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The Author
Mackenzie Patterson is a Toronto-based writer and journalist. She enjoys long walks, iced coffee on tap, and discovering all the latest and greatest health and wellness trends.