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    Mariusz Wach Helps Fulfill the Dream of a Sick Kamil

    Kamil Stawiarz, a 26-year-old sports enthusiast from Krakow, has faced numerous health challenges throughout his life. Born prematurely with a rare congenital defect known as microtia, which results in partial atrophy of the auricles, Kamil has endured a long and difficult journey marked by multiple surgeries that ultimately proved unsuccessful. Additionally, he grappled with breathing problems due to underdeveloped lungs, spending the first 11 months of his life in the hospital, where doctors saved his life on three separate occasions.

    Reflecting on his condition, Kamil shared his struggles, saying, “I am a premature baby, and during the birth, the doctors saved me and my mother. Then it turned out that I was born with a small ear. It is a very rare defect, one in ten thousand children is born with it. I’ve also had breathing problems since I was born because my lungs didn’t develop properly. I breathed through a tracheostomy tube and spent the first 11 months of my life in the hospital. Doctors saved my life three times.”

    Despite the numerous attempts by doctors in Krakow to reconstruct his “small ear,” none of the eight surgeries proved successful, and his condition deteriorated. Kamil recounted, “The first operation took place in 2011 in Krakow, unfortunately unsuccessful, the next ones were also unsuccessful every year. The wound did not heal at all, and I also became infected with staphylococcus aureus. Unfortunately, this ear could not be reconstructed. I listened to specialists around the world, they spread their hands, but they were not able to undertake this treatment. They said there’s too much damage and they’re afraid if they cut it all out I’ll be left with a hole in my head.”

    However, Kamil’s determination and resilience shone through as he embarked on a fundraising campaign to cover the expenses of a potentially life-changing surgery. His efforts touched the hearts of many athletes who donated sports memorabilia for an auction, which helped him raise over PLN 171,000 in just over a year. Despite his initial optimism, Kamil faced a setback when the chosen doctor withdrew from performing the surgery due to the high risks involved.

    Kamil, undeterred by this setback, continued to chase his dreams. One of those dreams became a reality when he had the chance to meet Mariusz Wach, the former world heavyweight champion, in person. Wach, known as “Wiking,” not only donated autographed boxing gloves for Kamil’s auction but also agreed to a personal meeting. Recalling the moment, Kamil said, “I once wrote to Mariusz on Instagram, but I did not believe that he would answer me. It was unreal to me. First, he donated boxing gloves, which were auctioned off, and recently agreed to a meeting. It must have looked funny, because Mariusz is over 2 meters and I’m less than 160 cm. He offered me coffee, we talked about his fights, among others, with Klitschko, Povetkin, and Artur Szpilka. I watched those fights and I remember them amazingly, and now I had the opportunity to listen to Mariusz talk about them live. It is an incredible honor for me that such an exceptional man helps me, and now I have met him.”

    Wach was not the only boxer to support Kamil. Rafał Jackiewicz also donated a T-shirt with an autograph for the auction, further fueling Kamil’s dreams.

    As Kamil perseveres in his journey, he maintains hope for a successful surgery that could significantly improve his quality of life. Cautiously optimistic, he remarked, “I managed to find a doctor who agreed to do the surgery, but I don’t want to say too much right now. I’ve been burned too many times. Will it take place? Will it work? I hope so. But I think I can be proud because I showed that it’s worth fighting for. I have many great memories; this time when so many great athletes help me is a souvenir for life. I often think back to this. It gives me strength.”

    Kamil’s indomitable spirit serves as an inspiration to many, illustrating that determination and the support of a caring community can help individuals overcome even the most challenging obstacles life presents.

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