Polish Olympian sells Rio silver medal to pay for boy’s cancer treatment

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Polish Piotr Malachowski, a silver medalist in the discus throw event at the recently concluded Rio Games decided to auctioned his medal this week to fund treatment for a three-year-old boy struck with cancer.

The 33-year-old world champion wrote on his Facebook page that he was moved to auction his prize after receiving a letter from the mother of a boy called Olek who said he had been battling eye cancer for two years and that treatment in New York was his only hope.

The woman wrote about the fatal condition of her three-year-old son, Olek Szymanski, who suffers from a rare form of eye cancer called retinoblastoma, CBS Sports reported. The mother said that the only option left for her was to bring her son to top ophthalmologists in New York and she desperately needed $126,000 (P5.8 million ) to cover her son’s medical treatment.

Malachowski decided to “champion” the child’s recovery by auctioning his silver medal online. With the help of local foundation Siepomaga, he was able to raise $84,000 (3.8 million PHP) for the boy’s treatment.

“I fought for gold in Rio. Today I’m calling on everyone to fight for something even more precious,” Malachowski wrote on Friday to announce the auction.

“If you help me, my silver medal may turn out to be more precious than gold for Olek,” he said, adding that he would use the entire sum raised to pay for treatment.

“Success,” he later wrote, saying the medal had found takers.

In a report by ESPN, Malachowski took down the online auction when billionaires Dominika and Sebastian Kulczyk promised to buy his silver medal in exchange for financing the remaining amount of Szymanski’s treatment.

“We were able to show that together we can make miracles. My silver medal today is worth much more than a week ago,” he thanked supporters in the Facebook post.

Photo from: Piotr Malachowski Facebook account

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