Romanian competitive swimmer David Popovici won a gold medal at the 2022 World Aquatics Championships, but he’s doing something different with the honor in order to bring awareness to childhood cancer.
As part of the Hope is Immune to Cancer campaign in partnership with Medlife, a healthcare clinic in Romania, Popovici decided to melt down his medal and turn it into small gold ribbons, the symbol of the battle against childhood cancer.
In a recent video out of PR agency MSL The Practice, Popovici explains why he wanted to transform his medal into ribbons and donate it to children who have survived the disease.
The medal in question was his win from the 200 meter freestyle at the World Aquatics Championships in Budapest, making him the first Romanian swimmer to win the world title.
“I have chosen to donate the medal that made me a world champion,” he says in the video. “Although it has a very special meaning to me, I know that it can mean much more to many more and that it has the power to inspire hope.”
The video shows the medal being melted down and features the voices of children who have survived cancer talking about their dreams. These aspirations include becoming a professional soccer player or an artist.
The video then cuts to gold ribbons that the children are wearing, made up of a small piece of Popovici’s gold medal, signifying hope and a reminder to never give up on their dreams.
“This gesture is one of hope for children who are fighting this cruel disease,” Popovici says. “Such programs need help to reach those who need it most.”
The medal has been melted into 100 gold bows, which will be donated to kids who beat cancer, according to MedLife.
The campaign is part of an effort for the clinic to tout its genetic testing program for children with cancer. The genetic test, Illumina TruSight Oncology 500, measures for various biomarkers and analyzes mutations for some 523 different genes linked to cancer.
This story first appeared on mmm-online.com.