Mary Lou Retton received $459,324 in donations, but her family hasn’t revealed how it’s being spent.
Mary Lou Retton’s daughters collected thousands of dollars for their Olympic-champion mom during her hospitalization, citing her lack of insurance.
In an exclusive interview with USA TODAY Sports, McKenna Kelley, Mary Lou Retton’s daughter, who initiated a crowdsourcing request for her mother, revealed that the funds have now reached $459,324. She expressed that she and her sisters were “so overwhelmed” by the unexpected and generous response from the public.
McKenna Kelley first created the crowdfunding campaign seeking prayers and financial assistance. The page received thousands of donations and well-wishes for Retton’s recovery.
You can visit the page here.
“I don’t know if that’s ignorant of us or if that was just sweet,” said Kelley, 26. “This was not supposed to be a big media thing…We didn’t even think about what this would turn into. It was simply four daughters who felt helpless who wanted to help their mom who knew that this would help take a burden off.”
A Rare Form Of Pneumonia
On October 10, Retton’s family had disclosed the alarming information that she was in the ICU battling a “rare form of pneumonia.” At 55, Retton struggled to breathe independently and fought for her life.
After being in the intensive care unit for nearly two weeks, Retton was released from the hospital and sent home to recover.
On Oct. 30, Retton wrote on Instagram that she was “with family continuing to slowly recover and staying very positive as I know this recovery is a long and slow process.”
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What will happen to the funds raised?
Kelley mentioned that once her mother’s medical bills are settled, the family intends to contribute the “remaining funds” to a charity chosen by her mother. Both Kelley and Retton declined to disclose the amount spent or specify the charity-bound sum from the $459,324 raised on spotfund.com.
“This is genuinely four daughters concerned for their mom, that was it,” Kelley said. “I know I keep saying that but that is truly where our hearts were when we started this; we felt so helpless. Her breathing was out of our control. The only thing that we could do to help that was in our control was ‘What if we start a GoFundMe? People can help.’”
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“When we asked for help, when we put this out there, we didn’t think of how this would turn out because she’s not Mary Lou Retton to us. She’s our mom. She would ground us, she would make us clean our room, she’d make us dinner, she’d be the shoulder to cry on, she is the joy and light of our lives and we wanted to help.”
Mary Lou Retton’s Historic Gold Medal Journey
In 1984, at the young age of 16, Retton made history as the first American woman to clinch the all-around gold medal, emerging as the most decorated athlete at the Los Angeles Olympics that year.
Despite undergoing knee surgery mere weeks before the Olympic Games, Retton achieved perfect scores on both the vault and her floor routine. Remarkably, she secured the all-around gold medal with a margin of just 0.05 points to spare.
We’re happy Mary Lou Retton is back home, and the generous support her family has received for her recovery is truly uplifting. Our heartfelt prayers are with her for a swift and complete recovery!