Iconic Olympic gymnast Mary Lou Retton has been hospitalized with a rare case of pneumonia. The athlete’s daughter has created a *spotfund page, asking for financial assistance and to raise awareness of Retton’s condition.
“On behalf of my sisters and I, we need y’all’s help,” Retton’s daughter, McKenna Kelley, said in the post. “My amazing mom, Mary Lou, has a very rare form of pneu,onia and is fighting for her life. She is not able to breathe on her own. She’s been in the ICU for over a week now. Out of respect for her and her privacy, I will not disclose all details. However, I will disclose that she is not insured.”
The page for Retton was created on Tuesday, and it has a goal of collecting $50,000. Since its formation, the fund has received 224 donors, with many leaving endearing messages behind.
“Wishing Mary Lou a complete and speedy recovery,” one donor said.
“She was my idol growing up. The first posters I had in my bedroom as a kid were of her!” another person wrote.
Lastly, Kelley asked those reading to volunteer any money that are able to.
“We ask that if you could help in any way, that 1) you PRAY! and 2) if you could help us with finances for the hospital bill,” Kelley said. “ANYTHING, absolutely anything, would be so helpful for my family and my mom. Thank y’all so very much.”
Retton, an American icon in gymnastics, was the first American woman to win a gold medal in the the all-around competition in 1984, and took home two silver and two bronze medals in that same year.
In 1985, Retton won the the American Cup all-around competition for her third and last time, and then retired in 1986.
Nearly a decade later, in 1997, the West Virginia-born-Houston-raised athlete was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame. She was also the first woman to be nominated to be part of the Houston Sports Hall of Fame in 2020.
Some of her TV and film appearances include “Baywatch,” “Scrooged” and “Glee.”