The Polish javelin thrower Maria Andrejczyk won a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympic Games this year. Despite training since high school to achieve this dream, this goal – something else mattered more to her. The Olympian auctioned off her silver medal to give Miłoszek Małysa, an 8-month-year-old baby boy, a fighting chance at survival.
The baby boy was struggling with a heart defect that caused his pressure to skyrocket, which in turn damaged the arteries in his lungs and heart. His dire condition required lifesaving surgery at Stanford University Medical Centre, thus, a fundraising page was created to raise the necessary funds. Stepping in to save the day, the 25-year-old Olympian received a bid of $125,000 from Żabka, a Polish convenience store chain, for her medal.
Andrejczyk herself, is a bone cancer survivor who fought the osteosarcoma she was diagnosed with and was back to training for the Tokyo games only three weeks after her surgery in 2018. All her hard work and perseverance paid off when she placed second behind China with a 64.61-meter throw. “The true value of a medal always remains in the heart,” the athlete said. Instead of allowing it to collect dust in a closet somewhere in her home, she knew that the silver could be used to save this boy, to save a life.
This story only gets better. Despite her intentions to donate the whole lump sum to the fundraiser for Miłoszek Małysa, she was in store for an unexpected act of kindness that matched her own. After winning Andrejczyk’s auction, Żabka decided to allow the Olympian to keep her hard-fought silver medal and instead made a donation of the same amount to the boy’s fundraiser, in her name. Żabka tweeted that they were “moved by the beautiful and extremely noble gesture” of their Olympian, and immediately knew that the medal had to remain with her.
Stories like this are proof that the world is filled with goodness and kind-hearted people. A selfless act of kindness can change someone’s life or may even save a life! Feeling inspired and generous today? Head on over to any one of our initiatives and contribute to the goodness in the world!