In an act of true selflessness, one Polish javelin thrower auctioned off her silver medal to help pay for an infant boy’s heart surgery.
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Maria Magdalena Andrejczyk first announced via Facebook last week that she would sell her hard-earned prize and use the cash to fund an operation for 8-month-old Miloszek Malysa, who has been in hospice care and needs an urgent surgery in the United States.
The Olympian announced the winner of the auction this week, according to a report from NPR. The winner, a Polish convenience store chain called Zabka, payed $125,000 for the silver medal.
“We were moved by the beautiful and extremely noble gesture of [Andrejczyk], so we decided to support the collection of funds for the benefit,” the chain stated on Facebook, adding it wanted the medal to remain with the Polish athlete, who represented the country well.
For her part, the 25-year-old Andrejczyk said she is “eternally grateful” to Zabka for allowing her to keep her silver medal.
“It is with the greatest pleasure I give you, Zabka, my medal, which, for me, is a symbol of struggle, faith, and pursuit of dreams agains the odds,” she said. “I hope, for you, it will be a symbol of the life of which we fought for together.”
Andrejczyk said in her post that little Miloszek needed 1.5 million zloty — which translates to around $383,000 — to cover the medical expenses and traveling for his procedure in California, KTBC-TV reported.
Winning silver for her country brought her “enormous happiness,” Andrejczyk said on the Polish sports program Eurosport Polska. She added she wanted to pass that same joy to a young child who could use some, according to an NBC News translation.
“The true value of a medal always remains in the heart,” she said. “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.”
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