There are millions of selfless people out there. Kind individuals who only want to help and make the world a better place. When we hear about stories of kindness and generosity, we know that there is hope for a much better world.
While everyday kindness is oftentimes overlooked, there are also those who use their popularity for a good cause. They know that they are better able to reach the people simply because they have garnered reputation. Such as the story of a Polish Olympian.
Polish javelin thrower Maria Andrejczyk was good at what she did. She worked hard for it and had gained the respect of her peers along the way. She was also fortunate enough to get drafted for the Tokyo Olympics where she took home the silver medal. This is a big achievement and while some might say that she only came in second at the games, any athlete can tell you that this was a big win, and more importantly, what she did outside the sport shows the world that she won the gold medal as a kind human being.
In just less than two weeks after stepping down from the winner’s podium and going home with pride in her heart, Andrejczyk took another extraordinary leap at life. This time, she showed others that she was the epitome of pure generosity. She decided to auction off her medal in order to raise funds for Miłoszek Małys. The latter is an 8-month-old Polish boy in dire need of help for the heart surgery he had to get.
The most touching part of the story was the fact that the athlete had never met Miłoszek nor his family. She read about his struggles while going through social media. The 25-year-old Andrejczyk could relate to his plight. She was a cancer survivor herself. Hence, she knew just how important obtaining timely medical intervention is, especially when it comes to health.
“Miłoszek has a serious heart defect, he needs an operation,” Andrejczyk posted on her Facebook page. It was her hope to reach out to those who had the ability to help. She then continued, “He also has support from above from Kubuś—a boy who did not make it on time, but wonderful people decided to donate his funds to Miłoszek. And this is how I want to help too. It is for him that I am auctioning off my Olympic silver medal.”
Andrejczyk also learned about the estimated costs for his medical expenses plus travel from Poland to California’s Stanford University. This was where the operation would be performed, and the costs amounted to a total of 1.5 million Polish zlotys (about $385,000). She also saw that half the sum had already been raised through online contributions. In order to come up with the remainding amount, she looked to her medal and thought that this could bring in the rest. She put it up for auction and the winning bid was not only enough, but it also exceeded the original fundraising goals.
“We have the winner!” Andrejczyk said. “On Friday I received this wonderful information, and due to the fact that you dears have already done wonders and joint forces have paid more than the equivalent of the initial medal to the Miłoszek account—I decided to end the auction so that our Miłoszek will receive the whole amount as soon as possible and can fly to the USA.”
While Andrejczyk didn’t really want to see her medal go as this was a reminder of her triumph, she was more thrilled to know the profits from the auction were earmarked for a cause that was not only close to her heart, but worthwhile as well.
Andrejczyk spole to the Times of London about her selfless deed and said, “The true value of a medal always remains in the heart. A medal is only an object, but it can be of great value to others. This silver can save lives, instead of collecting dust in a closet. That is why I decided to auction it to help sick children.” But the good news doesn’t just end here. The winning bidders, a Polish convenience store chain Zabka, had selfless and noble plans as well. In honor of her winning ways both on the Olympic field and off, the company refused to take her medal away from her.
“We were moved by the beautiful and extremely noble gesture of our Olympian, we decided to support [the benefit],” Zabka posted on Facebook as they talked about the win. “We also decided that the silver medal from Tokyo will stay with Ms. Maria, who showed what it means to be [a true champion].”
Silver is a precious metal that not everyone can afford, but the true triumph that’s worth its weight in gold here is the fact that people came together to help save the life of a child. In fact, the act is priceless, and the best part about this story is that everyone came out triumphant.