Olympic Athlete Auctions Off Medal To Pay For 3-Year-Old Boy’s Cancer Surgery
September 2, 2016
Polish track-and-field star Piotr Malachowski won 11 medals in Rio. But after taking second place in the men’s discus competition, Malachowski accomplished something even more special.
Credit: Quinn Rooney / Getty Images
“I did everything everything in my power to get (gold),” wrote Malachowski in a Facebook post. “Unfortunately this time it didn’t work. But fate gave me a chance to increase the value of my silver.”
He explained that after the competition, he had been contacted by the mother of a 3-year-old boy named Olek Syzmanski. Olek suffers from retinoblastoma, an aggressive eye cancer most commonly found in children. He needs a $126,000 surgery to effectively treat the disease.
Malachowski announced that he would auction off his silver medal to raise money for the cause, posting a link to an online fundraiser.
According to ESPN, a third of the surgery’s cost had already been raised by Polish foundation SiePomaga. After Malachowski’s fundraising efforts, Dominic and Sebastian Kulczyk, a wealthy Polish brother-and-sister duo, generously offered to pay the remaining balance.
“My darlings, we made it,” wrote Malachowski. “We were able to show that together we can make miracles.”
“My silver medal today is worth much more than a week ago. This is our big joint success.”