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Olympian auctions silver medal to raise fund for baby’s surgery

Maria Andrejczyk, Polish javelin thrower, auctioned off her Tokyo Olympics 2020 silver medal in order to help pay for the heart surgery of an eight-month-old boy, Miloszek.

At Rio Olympics 2016, Andrejczyk missed out on a medal by just 2 centimeters. A shoulder injury in 2017 and a bone cancer diagnosis in 2018 caused further suffering. Following her recovery, she won her first Olympic medal in Tokyo earlier this month. After winning the Tokyo Games, Andrejczyk wanted to help a stranger. Miloszek’s fundraiser was the first she found on her Facebook page.

As the baby has Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Connection (TAPVC), a severe disfunction of his pulmonary veins, he requires urgent heart surgery as his condition is critical. Miloszek’s operation requires 1.5 million Polish zloty (Rs 2.86 crore). By auctioning off her medal, Andrejczyk hoped to raise half of the amount.

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In a Facebook post, she wrote, ‘Miloszek has a serious heart defect. He needs an operation. He already has a head start from Kubus — a boy who didn’t make it in time but whose amazing parents decided to pass on the funds they collected. And in this way, I also want to help. It’s for him that I am auctioning my Olympic silver medal.’

The Polish convenience store ?abka won the bid and raised roughly Rs 1.4 crore, Andrejczyk said on Monday. A surprising twist of events caused the supermarket chain ?abka to return Andrejczyk’s medal and donate the huge sum of money so that Pole could have a second chance at life. More than 90 percent of the funds have been raised through Miloszek’s donation page.


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