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Polish Javelin Thrower Auctions Silver Olympic Medal to Pay for Boy's Heart Surgery

Polish javelin thrower Maria Andrejczyk auctioned off her silver medal she won at the 2020 Olympics in order to pay for an eight-month-old Polish boy's heart surgery. The Polish store chain Żabka Polska won the auction with a bid of $125,000. 

"It didn't take me long to decide, it was the first fundraiser I entered and I knew it was the right one," she said via social media, according to Daily Mail. Miloszek has a serious heart defect and is in need of surgery."

But Żabka Polska, a convenience store chain, wasn't done there. After the store won the bid for the silver medal, it insisted that Andrejczyk keep it. The 25-year-old Olympian won silver in the women's javelin throw for her 64.61-meter throw. Only China's Liu Shiying did better at 66.34 meters. 

"The true value of a medal always remains in the heart," Andrejczyk said, per The Times. "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."

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The little boy, whose name is Miloszek, will have surgery at Stanford University. Miloszek's family started a fundraising page in order to pay for the surgery with a goal of 1.5 million Polish zloty ($384,512) and are currently 90% to their final goal thanks to the contribution. 

The silver medal was the first Olympic medal for Andrejczyk. She was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer, in 2018 but went on to finish second at the 2019 European Team Championships Super League and qualified for the 2019 World Championships before being eliminated in the qualifying round. 

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