Award-winning lawyers also helped sick boy meet Valentino Rossi and his mother

published: 2018-10-20

Few people have such a clear idea of what they want to be when they grow up as five-year-old Jiřík. His heart has been beating for road motorcycle racers for some time now, and he would love to become one himself. "Márquez, Viales, Pedrosa," he spits out the names of MotoGP's most famous riders, which are more like incantations to the other kids in the playground.

The fair-haired boy with the mischievous smile fell for motorbikes about three years ago. He was sitting in a hospital bed recovering from chemotherapy. He had to undergo it to treat leukemia.

"We watched children's programs all day at the hospital. Once when he fell asleep, I changed the TV and Moto GP was on," recalls Jiří's father, who did not wish to reveal the identity of the family. That's when he left the room for a while. When he returned, he noticed that his son was awake and watching TV with bated breath.

MotoGP's Royal Cubature took Jiřík through a battle with illness. He won't miss any races today either. Regardless of the results, the winner is always the only one for him. "Vála," he shouts with excitement as a rider in a blue and white number 46 jumpsuit whizzes around the circuit. Valentino Rossi's victory means the whole family must sing the Italian national anthem. The emotions are heightened when Jiri's dream comes true and he meets his idol.

The meeting was arranged by the non-profit organization Zlatá rybka. It grants wishes to children whose paths have been crossed by life-threatening diseases. The organization was founded by Ondřej and Katarína Vlčková, who modelled it on the American Make a Wish. Zlatá rybka does not receive subsidies, accept donations from donors or sponsors, or run promotional campaigns. Parents of patients learn about its existence from doctors, psychologists or nurses.

The Vlček family finances the organization out of their own pocket. However, they could not have done without the support and experience of Martina Slanina, who lent them her knowledge from her law practice free of charge in addition to her own work.

Slaninová is one of the lawyers awarded in the Pro Bono & CSR 2018 competition. This is the third year that the media company Economia has organised the competition. The winners are selected by an expert jury of lawyers who help those in need.