A Polish discus thrower has auctioned off the medal he recently earned during the Rio Olympics in order to help raise money for a 3-year-old boy in his country who is suffering from a rare eye cancer.
Piotr Malachowski won the silver in his event on the 8th day of the Games when the mother of Olek Szymanski reached out to the Olympian for help.
“Winning an Olympic medal is one of an athlete’s life dreams,” Malachowski wrote on his Facebook page Friday. “Of course, the most precious is gold. I did everything in my power to get it. Unfortunately this time I did not succeed. However, fate gave me a chance to increase the value of my ‘silver.’”
Olek suffers from retinoblastoma, a rare cancer that attacks the eyes of young children. The boy needs treatments, but his family cannot afford to get him the proper care they needed. So they turned to Malachowski for help raising funds that would get the child to New York for the care he desperately needs.
“I decided to help,” the 33-year-old Olympian wrote Friday. “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.”
Following the appeal, it was announced Tuesday that a Polish couple purchased the medal for what Malachowski said was “a sum that allows us to complete” the fundraiser, he wrote on Facebook.
“We were able to demonstrate that together we can make miracles. My silver medal is today worth much more than it was just a week ago. It is worth the life and health of little Olek. This is our great, shared success,” he added.
It is not yet known when the boy will come to New York for treatments.
Malachowski also won silver for the discus throw during the 2008 Beijing Games.