He didn’t even personally know the cancer-stricken boy or any of his family but when Olympian discus thrower Piotr Małachowski of Poland learned that the child was dying of a rare form of cancer whose treatment was only available in the US, he did not hesitate to auction off the medal he won in Rio to give this boy a chance to live!
Małachowski won the silver medal for discus throwing at the recently concluded Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Upon returning to Poland, he received a letter from a woman whose 3-year-old son Olek Szymanski was dying of a rare form of eye cancer known as retinoblastoma.
No treatment is currently available in Poland for retinoblastoma; thus, his mother hopes to raise $126,000 (Php5.8 million) for his treatment in New York City, USA. With his newfound fame in Poland, Małachowski was surely one of the best persons to help them raise funds.
But instead of simply helping the family raise funds through encouraging people to donate money, Małachowski did something that made him a hero in the eyes of everyone in Poland and, pretty soon, the rest of the world: he auctioned off his Olympic silver medal for the boy’s treatment!
“In Rio, I fought for the gold. Today I appeal to everyone – let’s fight together about something that is even more precious – the health of this fantastic boy. If you help me, my silver for I can be more precious than gold,” Małachowski wrote in Polish.
Mere days after Małachowski launched the online auction, he was able to reach half his goal! With more people pledging donations, they were sure to reach the target but Małachowski would soon take down the online auction after billionaires Dominika and Sebastian Kulczyk promised to cover the remaining amount of Szymanski’s treatment for the medal.
To thank his supporters, he wrote on Facebook, “We were able to show that together we can make miracles. My silver medal today is worth much more than a week ago.”
He did not win the gold at the Olympics but Malachowski’s silver is definitely worth much more than gold, thanks to his selfless action!
Thanks Piotr Malachowski for restoring our faith in humanity…