A fundraiser launched by Mary Lou Retton’s daughter to pay for medical bills as the Olympic gymnast battles a rare form of pneumonia in the intensive care unit has already raised a quarter of a million dollars, surpassing its $50,000 goal.
McKenna Kelley, a former gymnast herself, opened up about Retton’s health crisis on social media this week and also revealed that her 55-year-old mother doesn’t have health insurance.
Donations have poured in from hundreds of people who remember Retton as the pint-sized powerhouse who defeated the Romanian favorite to win all-around gold at the 1984 Summer Games.
Retton has been retired from competitive sports since 1986, but worked as a broadcast gymnastics commentator and even had a brief stint there Dancing with the stars Five years ago.
Your professional partner Shaun Farber, said he had spoken to her on Tuesday.
“She’s fighting,” said Farber, who stayed near Retton after her elimination.
“She kind of wants to give up, but I send her videos of her dancing and tell her, ‘There’s only one Mary Lou Retton.’ You have it!'”
Donors to the fundraiser include Jim “Mattress Mack” Mcingvale and his wife Linda, who contributed $50,000. They live in Houston, where Retton started her elite gymnastics career.
Kelley has not provided any information about her mother’s condition, but said Tuesday that she can breathe on her own and has been in the intensive care unit for a week.