Olympic javelin thrower Maria Andrejczyk may have only won silver in Tokyo but the Pole has proved that she has a heart of gold after announcing that she will auction her medal to help fund a toddler’s heart surgery.
It wasn’t long after Andrejczyk won her silver medal, realizing a lifelong ambition along the way, that she knew she wanted to do something more than let it gather dust in a display case on her mantle.
Shortly after the 25-year-old returned home, Andrejczyk announced that she wanted to use her medal for a good cause – and she soon found her calling when she was made aware of the story of a young Polish boy who had been sent to the United States in the hope of receiving life-saving, incredibly expensive surgery.
The boy in question, Milosz, suffers from a rare heart complaint called Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Connection (TAPVC), which essentially means that his pulmonary veins do not work correctly.
And when Andrejczyk was made aware that Milosz’ only chance at life was this type of successful surgery, that was all she needed to hear.
“I thought about it for a long time. It was the first fundraiser I looked at and I knew it was the right one,” Andrejczyk said of her decision.
“Miloszek… has a serious heart defect, he needs an operation. 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 to Milosz.
“And in this way, I also want to help. It’s for him that I am auctioning my Olympic Silver medal.
“Together with Milosz’s mum and my manager, we thought about the most effective way of running the fundraiser.”
Andrejczyk has also had her own run-ins when it comes to health matters, having suffered serious injury recently as well as recovering from a bone cancer diagnosis.
She also outlined the steps involved to make a bid, with the sum total of the campaign said to be seeking around $180,000.
“I hope whoever wins the auction gives it right back to her,” was the response of one impressed fan online, who hopes that Andrejczyk’s good deed will see her Olympic medal returned to her.