A Polish athlete auctioned off the silver medal he won at this year's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro to help pay for a child's cancer treatment.
Discus thrower Piotr Małachowski took to Facebook last Friday to post a picture of 3-year-old Olek Szymanski, who suffers from retinoblastoma, a rare form of childhood cancer that affects the eye. The boy's mother had written to the Olympian to ask for his help. Writing in Polish, Małachowski underscored the urgency of the boy's plight, noting that "in Poland, there is no chance of saving Olek's eyes. The only chance is (treatment) in New York."
"In Rio I fought for the gold," Małachowski continues in his post. "Today I appeal to everyone — let's fight together about something that is even more precious. The health of this fantastic boy."
Reuters reported that "a Polish foundation called Siepomaga has already gathered about a third of the roughly 480,000 zlotys ($126,000) it said was needed to finance the boy's treatment at ophthalmic oncologist David Abramson's clinic in New York" and that bids on the medal on "Poland's Allegro website had reached about $6,000" by last Friday afternoon.
In a Facebook post on August 23, Małachowski revealed that the medal had been sold to Polish billionaire siblings Dominika and Sebastian Kulczyk for an undisclosed amount said to "complete the collection."
"My Silver Medal today is worth much more than a week ago," he added affectionately. "It is worth the life and health of little Olusia."
Cover photo via Facebook / Piotr Małachowski