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Polish Man Inline Skates 3000 Miles to Microsoft
Raises Money for Two Young Girls' Medical Care
Polish inline skater Krzysztof Dzienniak of Warsaw skated
3000 miles across the United States in the summer and fall
of 2004 in an effort to raise money to cover the medical expenses of
two young girls in Warsaw.
Krzysztof Dzienniak's Arrival at Microsoft Waving a Polish Flag
Copyright © R. Kott & H. Gil of
Polish News Seattle
24 year old Polish inline skater Krzysztof Dzienniak
skated onto the campus of Microsoft World Headquarters
waving a Polish flag and wearing a big happy smile
more than 3 months after he began his
3000 mile inline skating journey that was an effort to raise
money to cover the medical expenses of two young girls in
Krzysztof began his journey in New York on the East coast of the
United States in late August of 2004 and he arrived at Microsoft
headquarters in Washington State on the west coast
Monday, December 6, 2004.
From a Microsoft Spokesperson:
"We applaud Mr. Dzienniak’s
remarkable expedition and his efforts to secure medical treatment
for Monica and Patricia. We're pleased to welcome him to Microsoft.
In recognition of his efforts and the needs of Monica and Patricia,
we're pleased to be kicking off an employee giving campaign to help
raise the necessary funds for their treatment. Beginning today,
Microsoft employees may make contributions to SOS Children’s
Villages, a non-profit organization with offices in both the US
and Poland. All contributions to this organization will be
earmarked for the girls’ treatment and will be eligible to be
matched dollar-for-dollar by Microsoft.
We're pleased to also let Mr. Dzienniak know that Bill Gates
will be making the first contribution to the fund.
Dzienniak is a rock climbing instructor
in Warsaw Poland, and the purpose of his journey on skates was to raise
$20,000 to cover the medical expenses of two young Polish girls
whose families cannot afford to pay for their care:
7 year old Monika Mosur who was born with hydrocephalus
and 10 year old Patrycja Bialkowska who lost
a foot in an accident.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who was out of town when
Dzienniak arrived at Microsoft Headquarters in Washington
State, kicked off a fund raising effort for the two girls
by making a $1000 personal donation toward the girls' medical
care. Microsoft executives set up a special employee-contribution
fund for the girls that will be matched dollar-for-dollar by
donations from Microsoft.
Dzienniak was inspired to make his trip after Bill Gates
visited Poland in 2003, and also after seeing movie
"Forest Gump". When his flight from Poland landed at New York City's JFK
airport on August 27, 2004
he only had $300 and a pair of inline skates, and by the time he embarked
on his trip he had added a small backpack, a tent, and a map of the United States.
The reason for travel printed on his visa was
"rollerblading from New York City to Seattle".
During the trip he went through 3 pairs of inline skates
and traveled about 32 miles a day. He took side roads
most of the way because they were safer than the main highways.
Early in the trip, his skates were
stolen when he stopped to buy bottled
water at a gas station in Millville Pennsylvania. He was only
able to continue his journey when a man he barely knew gave
him $150 for a pair of new Nike inline skates.
Because Dzienniak does not speak English well, he brought along some
newspaper articles about his journey and what he
was trying to do. During his trip, sometimes he stayed at local churches
sometimes he camped under bridges or out in the open, but
most of the time friendly strangers allowed him to sleep in their homes
for a night or two, and he often received help from Polish Americans.
How You Can Help Monika and Patrycia:
Contributions to the Monika and Patrycia Medical Expenses Fund
can be made through SOS Children's Villages USA.
Connect to their Web site at
SOS-USA.org, select "Donate Now" on their home page, and
follow their instructions for making a donation. Be sure to indicate in
the details or comments section that you are contributing to the
"Medical Fund for Monika and Patrycia in Poland".
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