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

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For Piotr Malachowski, a Polish discus thrower, his years of strenuous training and hard work paid off when he won silver in the recently concluded 2016 Rio Olympics. But as he returned to his country, one woman wrote a letter pleading for his help.

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.

“In Rio, I fought for the gold. Today, I appeal to everyone–let’s fight together [for] something that is even more precious–the health of this fantastic boy,” he wrote on his Facebook page in Polish.

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. Gianna Francesca Catolico/Inquirer.net