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Legendary Gymnast Mary Lou Retton Defends Daughters After Backlash Over Fundraiser For Her Medical Bills!

Former Gymnast Mary Lou Retton Defends Daughters After Backlash Over Fundraiser For Her Medical Bills

Mary Lou Retton won’t stand for anyone criticizing her daughters after they started a fundraiser to pay her medical bills!

In October, the legendary gymnast was “fighting for her life” in the intensive care unit with a rare form of pneumonia. Her 26-year-old daughter McKenna — on behalf of herself and her three sisters — started a SpotFund campaign asking for donations to help with the hospital bills amid the health battle. More than 10,000 donors graciously contributed to the fundraiser, with nearly $500,000 raised. Amazing! And while many people were willing to help Mary, others slammed the four women for launching the crowdsourcing fund and questioned if the family really needed financial assistance.

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Months later, Mary now defended her daughters from the “trolls” who blasted them for the fundraiser! She said in an interview with Entertainment Tonight on Wednesday:

“They didn’t deserve that. They were just trying to take care of me. I don’t care about the naysayers. There are trolls everywhere. It’s what makes us America. Everybody’s got an opinion, but it is what it is.”

The Olympian explained her finances first took a hit following her divorce in 2018. Things got worse when COVID-19 hit, impacting her job as a public speaker. On top of not making much money anymore, she also did not have insurance at the time. Mary continued:

“I was in the ICU for a month, like, the bills were and are still coming in. You can’t imagine from ambulance bills to everything. I couldn’t have done it without my daughters. I just couldn’t have. I mean, I don’t know where I’d be.”

Oof. For any doubters, she insisted the money went to her treatment. Whatever is left over will go to the American Lung Association. And no matter what anyone says, Mary is thankful for her daughters for getting her through this tough journey so far:

“You’re welcome to your opinion, but you weren’t in that situation. 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.”

Sadly, her health battle isn’t over yet. She still has a “very long recovery” ahead of her, which will be costly! Mary shared with the outlet that “it’s been hard,” adding:

“Well, obviously still on oxygen. I’m tired of this thing up my nose. I mean, this all happened beginning of October, and we’re halfway almost through May, so I’m better, but it’s not where I wanna be. I still have the part-time breathing and getting breaths, you know, and I’m a speaker and haven’t been able to work cause 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.”

We’re sending so much love and strength to Mary amid her recovery! Watch the gold medalist open up some more about her health issue (below):

[Image via Entertainment Tonight/YouTube, Mary Lou Retton/Instagram]

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May 23, 2024 18:40pm PDT