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Featured Image Credit: PA
By Stewart Perrie
Maria Andrejczyk has auctioned her silver medal from the Tokyo Olympics for a beautiful reason.
The Polish javelin thrower was hoping to get nearly AUD$250,000 for her prized possession so that an eight-month-old boy can pay for his heart surgery.
Pole Miloszek desperately needs an operation to fix a heart defect and his situation has been described as critical.
According to Nine News, the boy has Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Connection (TAPVC), which is a major disfunction of his pulmonary veins.
Instead of letting her medal sit on display at her home, she wanted to put the piece of metal to good use.
The 25-year-old wrote on social media: "[Pole] 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."
She missed out on a medal at the Rio 2016 Olympics by just 2cm and was no doubt thrilled when she came home with the silverware after a successful Tokyo Games.
However, she believes 'the true value of a medal always remains in the heart'.
She told a Polish news network: "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."
A donation page set up for the boy was seeking AUD$525,000 to cover the costs associated with the surgery.
Thanks to Maria's offer of her medal and other items at the auction, around AUD$260,000 was raised. Her offering also drew attention to the fundraiser and got more people to donate.
But there was an incredible twist to the story.
Polish supermarket chain Żabka was the successful bidder for Maria's medal and they told her she could keep it.
A spokesperson for the company said: "We were moved by the beautiful and extremely noble gesture of our Olympian."
They decided to just donate the huge sum of money so that Pole could have another shot at life and that Maria could keep her medal. What an awesome response.