All Olympic medalists work extremely hard to achieve their goals, but Maria Andrejczyk faced significant obstacles on her way to the podium.
By just two centimeters, the Polish javelin thrower lost out on a spot in the 2016 Olympic Games. After being sidelined by a shoulder injury in 2017, she was diagnosed with bone cancer.
Maria recovered in time to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, displaying a true fighting spirit. All of her hard work paid off as she won her first Olympic medal, a silver!
Back at home, she learned of an 8-month-old infant named Miloszek Maysa who urgently needs to travel to the United States for life-saving surgery. Miloszek was born with a significant cardiac abnormality that was not discovered in time to be corrected during his first weeks of life.
Miloszek’s mother, Monika, stated on a Polish fundraising website, “The earth has slipped from under our feet again.” “Only a future heart and lung transplant will offer us a chance to live a normal life!”
Baby Miloszek’s condition is too dire to be treated in his home country, but doctors at Stanford University Medical Center in California are able to take his case. Unfortunately, they require 80 percent of the payment upfront, a sum the Małysa family simply could not afford. That’s when Maria stepped in to help!
Just a week after returning from Japan, the athlete shared a message on Facebook announcing that she would be auctioning off her silver medal to raise money for Miloszek’s surgery.
She wrote in Polish, “Miloszek has a significant cardiac problem; surgery is required.” “He’s already a step ahead of Kubus, a boy who didn’t make it in time but whose kind parents decided to donate the money they raised.” In this way, I’d like to contribute as well. My Olympic silver medal is being auctioned for him.”
A Polish convenience store called Zabka bought the medal for $125,000 a few days later, which was more than Maria had hoped for. Furthermore, when word of her tale spread, more individuals began donating to the fundraising. They were able to raise more than enough money to pay for Miloszek’s journey to America in the end!
And the generosity doesn’t stop there. Maria’s medal would be kept after all, according to Zabka!
“We were very touched by the extremely beautiful and noble gesture of our Olympian, so we decided to support the fundraiser for Miłoszek,” the company wrote. “We decided that the second-place medal from Tokyo will stay with Maria! We admire and we are glad that we were able to contribute.”
It takes a warrior to fight the toughest battles. Thanks to one selfless Olympian, Miloszek now has a fighting chance!