Not all heroes wear capes. Some are just sitting behind the Vancouver Canucks bench.
A woman sitting there during the Seattle Kraken’s home opener on Oct. 23 caught the attention of Brian “Red” Hamilton, the Canucks’ assistant equipment manager, by pressing her cell phone against the glass between periods. A message was written on it in large, colorful letters.
“He said the mole on the back of the neck is cancer” Hamilton told reporters on Saturday.
“When she reported it, I had never seen it. It was on the back of my neck, I didn’t even know it was there. So when I started asking people, like the doctors to the team, they don’t. I don’t like the way it looks either. So I got scared. “
The mole turned out to be a malignant melanoma which he had removed a few days after the ventilator pointed out to him.
“She has prolonged my life,” said Hamilton. “She saved my life. She didn’t pull me out of a burning car like the big stories, but she pulled me out of a slow fire. The words from the doctors mouth were that if I “Didn’t know that for four or five years, I wouldn’t be here. So, I didn’t know it was there. She pointed it out.”
Hamilton and the Canucks took to social media on Saturday to track down his hero.
The Canucks posted a letter from Hamilton on their Twitter account ahead of their rematch against the Kraken in Seattle on Saturday night.
“I’m trying to find someone very special and I need the help of the hockey community. To this woman I’m trying to find, you changed my life, and now I want to find you to say THANK YOU VERY MUCH!
“The problem is, I don’t know who you are or where you come from. I know you were sitting behind the Canucks bench the night the Seattle Kraken played their first home game. That evening, October 23, and the message you showed me on your cell phone will forever be etched in my brain and changed my life and the lives of my family. Your instincts were good and that mole on the back of your neck was malignant melanoma and thanks to your persistence and the swift work of our doctors, it is now over. “
The tweet, sent to the Canucks million subscribers at 12:51 p.m. ET, has been retweeted more than eight thousand times, including a quote tweet from the Kraken.
The Canucks tweeted at 2:44 p.m. ET that the woman had been found.
It’s a wellness story to open 2022, showing the kindness of a stranger and the power of social media.
“Biggest thanks to the Twitter worm, the Instagram worm, the social media world,” Hamilton said. “I can never thank you enough for forwarding and distributing it.”
While the Canucks and Kraken play on Saturday, Hamilton may have the opportunity to thank his hero in person.
“I understand that I’m part of the story, but she needs to know, she’s the story,” Hamilton said. “This is the person who did that. She saved a life. She doesn’t know… Imagine if you were walking around and you saved a life and you have no idea you saved one. I would like to know and I want her to know. “
As for what he’s going to tell her …
“Well thank you,” Hamilton said. “And my mom wants her to know that she loves her… If I have the opportunity to meet her tonight, which I really hope to do, I want her to know that her persistence has been what saved my life. “