FDNY Battalion Chief seeks Doctor who saved his life


Kevin McNamara, a New York City firefighter who is in the business of saving lives, is now looking for the guardian angel who saved his.

On Jan. 25, while vacationing at Great Wolf Lodge in Scotrun, Pennsylvania, he was approached by a dermatologist — “a redhead or strawberry blond” — who noticed a nasty looking mole on his back and told him he should see a doctor.

McNamara took her advice and 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.

“I had a guardian angel that day,” said McNamara, a fire chief at the 4th Battalion in Manhattan. “This could have possibly been a disaster and I have two young kids.

“I would love to just give her a great thanks and a hug,” he told TODAY.

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” and “about 35 to 45” years old.

“I’m not a detective, but she must be from the Tri-State area [New York, New Jersey or Pennsylvania],” he said.

Melanoma kills one person every hour in the United States. It is the fifth most common cancer among men and the seventh among women, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. But if detected early, it is 98 percent curable.

McNamara’s mole was a dark brownish color, about the size of a quarter.

“I thought it was just a birthmark,” he said, and “blew off” concerns from his wife and mother, who is a nurse.

That was until the Good Samaritan decided to speak up while he and his wife, Shawn, and their children, Sarah, 4, and Blake, 9 months, were at the water park in the Poconos.


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