- Athlete Maria Andrejczyk made headlines a week ago when she auctioned off her 2020 Olympic silver medal to raise funds for an infant’s heart surgery.
- The Polish javelin thrower wished to raise funds for an 8-month-old boy to travel to the US and get a life-saving surgery.
- The winning bidder was Zabka, a Polish convenience store chain, gifted the silver medal back to Maria.
Olympian Maria Andrejczyk won a silver medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics early this month.
A week later, the Polish javelin thrower made a heartwarming move by auctioning off her Olympic medal to raise money for an 8-month-old infant boy in critical need of heart surgery.
Baby Miłoszek Małys need to travel to the United States and get life-saving surgery.
Maria is not related to Miłoszek nor had ever met him or his family. She learned of the baby’s medical condition through social media. A cancer survivor herself, Maria did not waste time to help the boy obtain timely medical intervention.
“Miłoszek has a serious heart defect, he needs an operation,” the 25-year-old Olympian posted to her Facebook page. “He also has support from above from Kubuś—a boy who did not make it on time, but wonderful people decided to donate his funds to Miłoszek. And this is how I want to help too. It is for him that I am auctioning off my Olympic silver medal.”
All told, it was estimated that costs for medical expenses plus travel from Poland to California’s Stanford University where the operation would be performed would total 1.5 million Polish zlotys (about $385,000).
With half the sum already raised through online contributions, Maria hoped her medal would bring in the rest. The winning bid not only met but exceeded the original fundraising goals.
“We have the winner!” Maria posted. “On Friday I received this wonderful information, and due to the fact that you dears have already done wonders and joint forces have paid more than the equivalent of the initial medal to the Miłoszek account—I decided to end the auction so that our Miłoszek will receive the whole amount as soon as possible and can fly to the USA.”
Sorry as she might have been to see her medal go, Maria was thrilled to know the profits from its sale were earmarked for a worthy cause.
“The true value of a medal always remains in the heart,” Maria said, as quoted by The Times of London. “A medal is only an object, but it can be of great value to others. This silver can save lives, instead of collecting dust in a closet. That is why I decided to auction it to help sick children.”
But it seems the winning bidders, Polish convenience store chain Zabka, had some pretty big-hearted plans of their own. In honor of her winning ways both on the Olympic field and off, the company gifted Maria back her medal.
“We were moved by the beautiful and extremely noble gesture of our Olympian, we decided to support [the benefit],” Zabka posted to Facebook. “We also decided that the silver medal from Tokyo will stay with Ms. Maria, who showed what it means to be [a true champion].”
Maria may have won a silver medal. But for us, you’re a true champion with a heart of gold.
Source: Good News Network