After winning her silver medal for Javelin throw in the most recent Tokyo Olympics, Maria Andrejczyk is out to win hearts; this time, on a different sport -- the sport of real life.
Andrejczyk, the 25-year-old Olympic medalist, recently came across a Facebook post for a fundraiser for Miloszek Malysa, an eight-month-old baby boy who is afflicted with a rare heart condition and who needs surgery at the soonest possible time.
The boy also needs funds to travel from Poland to Stanford University for the surgery. Total cost travel and medical expenses are computed at 1.5 million Polish zlotys or around $385,000.
Good things come to those who wait
Andrejcyk, a native of Poland, has had her fair share of trials in her own personal and professional life.
She suffered a heartbreaking loss for a medal in the Rio Olympics by only 2 centimeters and succumbed to a shoulder injury in 2017. The most recent setback is her bout with osteosarcoma, a type of cancer, last 2018.
Andrreczyk did not require chemotherapy, just surgery. Thus she made a full and fast recovery. Fast forward to 2021, she went on to the Tokyo Olympics and brought home her first Olympic silver medal.
Paying It forward
Touched by Malysa's story on Facebook, Andrejczyk decided to auction her freshly received silver for Miloszek.
In Maria's Facebook post, she said, "Miloszek has a serious heart defect; he needs an operation." Maria was also quoted in the Times of London as saying: "A medal is only an object, but it can be of great value to others.
She added that her medal could save lives instead of collecting dust in the closet. "That's why I decided to auction it to help sick children."
An auction like no other
On August 11, 2021, Maria opened the auction for her silver medal on Facebook and on August 16 the auction was already closed.
The winning bidder to the tune of $125,000.00 was Zabka, a leading supermarket chain in Poland. But after winning the bid, the supermarket owner returned the silver medal to Andrejcyk.
Indeed, an auction like no other, where everybody goes home happy.