The legendary athlete has been “fighting for her life” in the ICU for over a week with a rare form of pneumonia that had left her unable to breathe.
McKenna Kelley shared the news on behalf of her mother and sisters, opting not to share all of the details out of respect for Retton’s privacy while noting she can share that her mom is not insured.
McKenna is one of four daughters that Retton shares with ex-husband Shannon Kelley, including Shayla, Skyla, and Emma.
“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. ANYTHING, absolutely anything, would be so helpful for my family and my mom. Thank y’all so very much!” her fundraiser stated.
RadarOnline.com had reported on when the link only raised less than $5k out of a $50k goal on Tuesday, having skyrocketed since then from 22 shares to more than 1,000.
“We love you, ML!!! Keep fighting like the champion we know you are!” one comment read. “We are all hoping for you to pull through to see your big smile!” another stated.
Retton was no flash in the pan, having made history at the 1984 Summer Olympics by becoming the first American to win an individual all-around gold medal. Retton took home a victory the next year at the American Cup all-around competition for the third time before retiring in 1986.
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She notably earned the honor of becoming Sports Illustrated’s “Sportswoman of the Year” and was even featured on a Wheaties box.
After her impressive Olympic run, the West Virginia native was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 1997 and even had a park and street named for her in her hometown of Fairview.
Fans were later excited to see the sensation appear on season 27 of Dancing with the Stars in 2018 before she was the fifth eliminated.
Her pro partner, Shaun Farber, said he recently spoke with her during an interview with Entertainment Tonight.
“She’s fighting,” said Farber. “She kind of wants to give up, but I’m sending her videos of her dancing and I’m telling her, ‘There’s only one Mary Lou Retton. You’ve got this!'”