Mary Lou Retton Defends Daughters From Backlash Over Fundraiser for Her Medical Bills

Mary was hospitalized in October 2023 and shortly after that, her daughter McKenna started a spotfund, which far exceeded its initial $50,000 fundraising goal.

AceShowbiz - Mary Lou was unhappy to see her daughters facing backlash while they tried to "save" her life. Upon learning that people slammed her kids for starting a crowdsourcing fund to pay her medical bills, the retired Olympic gymnast explained why Shayla, 28, McKenna, 26, Skyla, 23, and Emma, 21 didn't deserve the hate.

"[When] COVID hit, literally COVID hit - our job is to be near people and talk to them and so there was no work whatsoever," the 56-year-old told Entertainment Tonight. "Let's say that the height of my fame was years ago and I [was] just doing enough to make it, doing enough to pay my bills."

"You can't imagine [the costs] from ambulance bills to everything. I couldn't have done it without my daughters. I just couldn't have," she said. "I mean, I don't know where I'd be."

Mary went on to note, "You're welcome to your opinion, but you weren't in that situation." She further elaborated, "My daughters stepped up to the plate, and they saved my life and all the love and support saved my life, and these finances will only go to medical bills and I said what's left will go to the American Lung Association because I am now a member of the lung disease community."

Mary was hospitalized in October 2023. Shortly after that, McKenna started a spotfund, which far exceeded its initial $50,000 fundraising goal. The mom of three noted in the Wednesday, May 22 interview that all the funds will go to her medical bills or to the American Lung Association.

Elsewhere in the chat, Mary shared an update on her recovery journey after battling a rare form of pneumonia. "It's a very long recovery, I'm still on oxygen, and I had a bit of a relapse a while ago, but I'm back and regulated. It's just more discouragement than anything because, you know, patience isn't one of my strong skill sets," she said.

"I'm tired of this thing up my nose," she lamented. "I'm a speaker and haven't been able to work because I don't know if I can get up on stage and do an hour-long talk like I've normally done for 40 years. That's frustrating."

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