Polish Olympic athlete, Maria Andrejczyk has auctioned off her silver medal from Tokyo to help fund life-saving heart surgery for an eight-month-old boy.
The javelin thrower beat bone cancer after being diagnosed in 2018 and went on to win a silver medal at the Games in Japan following a fourth-place finish at Rio 2016.
In a bid to put her success to good use, she’s auctioning off her medal to help a stranger in need. She has started a fundraiser for Miloszek, a young Polish boy who requires heart surgery at Stanford hospital in the United States.
The 25-year-old wrote on her social media pages: ‘It didn’t take me long to decide, it was the first fundraiser I entered and I knew it was the right one. Miloszek has a serious heart defect and is in need of surgery.
‘He already has a head start from Kubus — a boy who didn’t make it in time but whose amazing parents decided to pass on the funds they collected.
‘And in this way, I also want to help. It’s for him that I am auctioning my Olympic silver medal.’
The fundraiser for Miloszek was looking for 1.5million Polish zloty, just over £280,000, and Andrejczyk hoped to fund half of that amount by auctioning her medal.
Andrejczyk has now confirmed that Polish convenience store Zabka have won the auction, which has raised £130,000. Further contributions have now taken the figure past the £140,000 target.
Writing on Facebook, the athlete said: ‘The winner, and at the same time, the company I will be eternally grateful to is the company Zabka.
‘It is with the greatest pleasure to give you Zabka this medal, which for me is a symbol of struggle, faith, and pursuit of dreams despite many odds.
‘I hope that for you it will be a symbol of the life we fought for together.’