As a New York City firefighter, Kevin McNamara is in the business of saving lives, but he is now looking for the guardian angel who saved his.
Sometimes, you make friends with total strangers on vacation; occasionally, you meet someone that can change your entire life. That’s what happened to Kevin McNamara.
While vacationing at Great Wolf Lodge in Scotrun, Pennsylvania, with his wife Shawn and children, Sarah, 4, and Blake, 9 months, McNamara, a fire chief at the 4th Battalion in Manhattan, was approached by a stranger who noticed a nasty looking mole on his back and told him he “should see a doctor.”
McNamara had noticed the dark brownish, quarter-sized mole before and thought it was just a birthmark. But he took the stranger’s advice. Two days later he was diagnosed with melanoma, the most dangerous kind of skin cancer. Because he acted so quickly and had the mole removed, the 42-year-old father has a healthy future.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, melanoma kills one person every hour in the United States. It is the fifth most common cancer among men and the seventh among women, But if detected early, it is 98 percent curable.
“I had a guardian angel that day,” McNamara told TODAY. “This could have possibly been a disaster and I have two young kids,” he added.
He said: “I would love to just give her a great thanks and a hug.”
McNamara said he tried to find the mystery skin doctor the next day and even called the hotel for their guest list, but had no luck. He described her as short — “5-foot two to 5-foot six, redhead or strawberry blond” — and “about 35 to 45” years old.
“I thought it was just a birthmark,” he said. “I do believe God had a hand in it and that most people if given the opportunity would help a fellow human being if it meant saving that person’s life,” McNamara said.
“I am forever grateful to that woman, and I can hopefully pass on that gift to someone someday. I hope people share my story until I find her.”
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