Olympian auctions off medal to pay for toddler’s heart operation

A Polish javelin thrower who won a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics appears to have a heart of gold.

Maria Andrejczyk, who won a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics herself is a bone cancer survivor. Learning about Toddlers’ heart conditions, she auctioned off the medal to give an 8-month-old boy with a heart defect a fighting chance at survival.

The 25-year-old Olympian made the announcement Monday on her Facebook page that the winning bid of $125,000, which was proffered by a Polish convenience store chain, will pay for little Miłoszek Małysa’s operation at Stanford University Medical Center.

“It is with the greatest pleasure that I am handing over to you Żabka, the little big store chain, my medal, which to me is a symbol of faith and perseverance in the face of great obstacles,” she wrote on her page.

In an interview with a Polish sports program, Andrejczyk said winning the medal “brought her enormous happiness and she wanted to pass that happiness on” to a young child who could use some.

“The true value of a medal always remains in the heart,” Andrejczyk said. “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.”

The toddler’s condition, according to his fund-raising page, appears to be dire.

Małysa, whose heart defect causes his blood pressure to skyrocket and damage the arteries in his lungs and in the heart, is currently at home in southern Poland and receiving hospice care, the page reports.

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