A boy needed $126,000 for cancer treatment. This athlete sold his Olympic medal to help.

Poland's Piotr Malachowski is one of the world's top discus throwers.

He has a solid Olympic record. He won a silver medal in Beijing during the 2008 games, and is also the proud owner of the fifth-longest discus throw ever: 71.84 meters (FYI, that's really far).

But at the Rio Olympics, the competition was intense. If Malachowski wanted to take home a medal, it would be one of the biggest challenges of his life.


In the end, he was narrowly edged out by a German competitor for the gold in Rio. But still, he was plenty proud to take home another silver medal for his country.

Malachowski warms up. Photo by Ranck Fife/AFP/Getty Images.

Now a two-time Olympic medalist, Malachowski was flooded with congratulations and well wishes after his final throw.

But one letter of congratulations stood out to him because it was from a mother desperate for his help.

Her name was Goshia, Malachowski wrote, and her 3-year-old son, Olek, was suffering from a rare form of cancer known as retinoblastoma, or cancer of the eye.

Though the disease is treatable, Goshia wrote to Malachowski that the only way to save her son's eyesight was to take him to New York City for treatment by a top ophthalmologist. Needless to say, that would be far too expensive for her family to afford on its own.

When a child is gravely ill, there's almost nothing their parent wouldn't do .... including writing to Olympic athletes for help.

Malachowski proudly waves the Polish flag. Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images.

When Malachowski heard Olek's story, he knew the timing was "fate." He decided he had to help.

An organization called Siepomaga had already raised a significant amount of money for Olek's treatment, but there was a long way to go. The total fundraising goal was around $126,000.

So the Olympian ponied up the most valuable thing he owned — his most recent silver medal.

In a Facebook post, he told his followers he was putting his prized medal up for auction to cover the rest of the costs:

Zdobycie medalu olimpijskiego to dla sportowca spełnienie życiowych marzeń. Oczywiście najcenniejszy jest ten złoty....

Posted by Piotr Małachowski on Friday, August 19, 2016

"In Rio I fought for gold," he wrote. "Today I call on all people — let us fight together for something that is even more valuable. For the health of this fantastic boy."

The auction lasted only a few days before a wealthy brother and sister made Malachowski a private offer he couldn't refuse.

ESPN reported that the top bid for Piotr's medal was roughly $19,000 before the final offer came in. Though he didn't share the exact amount, Malachowski made it clear in another Facebook post that the final sale price was enough to cover the rest of Olek's treatment.

"Thank you everyone who took part in the auction," he wrote. "We were able to show that together we can make miracles. My silver medal today is worth much more than a week ago."

Malachowski's massively selfless act is only the beginning of this story. 3-year-old Olek still has a long fight ahead of him.

Hopefully, with the world's top doctors working tirelessly to treat his disease, he can come out on top. We're rooting for you, buddy.

And as for Malachowski himself, he may be down one medal. But after this priceless gift, he's certainly earned the right to be called the people's champion forever.

True
Back Market

Between the new normal that is working from home and e-learning for students of all ages, having functional electronic devices is extremely important. But that doesn't mean needing to run out and buy the latest and greatest model. In fact, this cycle of constantly upgrading our devices to keep up with the newest technology is an incredibly dangerous habit.

The amount of e-waste we produce each year is growing at an increasing rate, and the improper treatment and disposal of this waste is harmful to both human health and the planet.

So what's the solution? While no one expects you to stop purchasing new phones, laptops, and other devices, what you can do is consider where you're purchasing them from and how often in order to help improve the planet for future generations.

Keep Reading Show less
via Pexels.com

The Delta Baby Cafe in Sunflower County, Mississippi is providing breastfeeding assistance where it's needed most.

Mississippi has the third lowest rate of breastfeeding in America. Only 70% of infants are ever-breastfed in the state, compared to 84% nationally.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends infants be exclusively breastfed for their first six months of life. However, in Mississippi, less than 40% are still breastfeeding at six months.

Keep Reading Show less
True

$200 billion of COVID-19 recovery funding is being used to bail out fossil fuel companies. These mayors are combatting this and instead investing in green jobs and a just recovery.

Learn more on how cities are taking action: c40.org/divest-invest


via msleja / TikTok

In 2019, the Washoe County School District in Reno, Nevada instituted a policy that forbids teachers from participating in "partisan political activities" during school hours. The policy states that "any signage that is displayed on District property that is, or becomes, political in nature must be removed or covered."

The new policy is based on the U.S. Supreme Court's 2018 Janus decision that limits public employees' First Amendment protections for speech while performing their official duties.

This new policy caused a bit of confusion with Jennifer Leja, a 7th and 8th-grade teacher in the district. She wondered if, as a bisexual woman, the new policy forbids her from discussing her sexuality.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

We've heard from U.S. intelligence officials for at least four years that other countries are engaging in disinformation campaigns designed to destabilize the U.S. and interfere with our elections. According to a recent New York Times article, there is ample evidence of Russia attempting to push American voters away from Joe Biden and toward Donald Trump via the Kremlin-backed Internet Research Agency, which has created a network of fake user accounts and a website that billed itself as a "global news organization."

The problem isn't just that such disinformation campaigns exist. It's that they get picked up and shared by real people who don't know they're spreading propaganda from Russian state actors. And it's not just pro-Trump content that comes from these accounts. Some fake accounts push far-left propaganda and disinformation in order to skew perceptions of Biden. Sometimes they even share uplifting content to draw people in, while peppering their feeds with fake news or political propaganda.

Most of us read comments and responses on social media, and many of us engage in discussions as well. But how do we know if what we're reading or who we're engaging with is legitimate? It's become vogue to call people who seem to be pushing a certain agenda a "bot," and sometimes that's accurate. What about the accounts that have a real person behind them—a real person who is being paid to publish and push misinformation, conspiracy theories, or far-left or far-right content?

Keep Reading Show less