Not everyone can change the world. But Olympian Maria Andrejczyk recently did exactly that for one infant with several heart defects.
Andrejczyk is a Polish javelin thrower who won a silver medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
On August 11, she announced on Facebook that she would auction off her silver medal to raise money for Miloszek Malysa, an 8-month-old infant with several heart defects.
Malysa needs emergency surgery, and according to a fundraising page set up for him, his only chance is to undergo an operation in Stanford.
That’s when Andrejczyk stepped up.
“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,” she wrote on her Facebook page. “And in this way, I also want to help. It’s for him that I am auctioning my Olympic silver medal.”
The winner of the auction was the Polish convenience store chain Zabka, which paid $125,000 for the medal according to NPR.
However, Zabka followed up Andrejczyk’s act of charity with one of its own. Rather than receiving the silver medal it paid for, Zabka decided to let Andrejczyk keep her medal.
“We were moved by the beautiful and extremely noble gesture of our Olympian,” the company said on Facebook. “We also decided that the silver medal from Tokyo will remain with Ms. Maria, who showed how great she is.”
As of publishing time, the fundraiser for baby Malysa had reached 103% of its goal and was supported by 45,883 people.
Andrejczyk may have won a silver medal. But in this case, it was her heart of gold that mattered the most.
Photo from Reuters