Olympic Gymnast Mary Lou Retton Battles a Rare Illness for Her Life

Mary Lou Retton
Mary Lou Retton (Credits: Getty Images)

“Dancing With the Stars Pro Sasha Farber Shares Concerns Over Former Celeb Partner Mary Lou Retton’s Health Struggles. Sasha Farber, a seasoned pro from “Dancing With the Stars,” has recently expressed his concerns regarding the alarming health battle faced by his former celebrity dance partner, Mary Lou Retton.

The Olympic champion’s daughter, McKenna Kelley, unveiled the dire situation on a Tuesday morning, revealing that her mother is grappling with a severe and uncommon form of pneumonia as she valiantly fights for her life.

After the latest episode of “Dancing With the Stars,” Farber, who partnered with Retton during season 27 in 2018, shared his thoughts with ET’s Denny Directo. He mentioned having spoken with the iconic gymnast earlier that day, emphasizing her determination and spirit.

“I’ve been talking to her today, and she’s fighting,” shared Farber, who was joined by his current celebrity dance partner, Alyson Hannigan. “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!'”

Mary Lou Retton
Mary Lou Retton (Credits: Fox News)

Despite being the fifth couple to be eliminated during their season, Farber and Retton have remained close friends throughout the years. Farber recalled a recent missed opportunity to meet with her in Los Angeles, regretting that his rehearsals prevented their reunion.

“But I just mean, you know, you’ve got to see the people [you care about], you’ve gotta say hi, you gotta call them,” he said. “And I’ve been speaking to her today.”

As per the post by Retton’s daughter, the celebrated athlete is unable to breathe unassisted and has been in the ICU for over a week. Still, Farber maintains a positive outlook, firmly believing in her swift recovery.

“She’s a fighter. She’s going to be great,” the “Dancing With the Stars” professional affirmed. “I know her very well. And she’s like family to me, and she’s a fighter… she’s strong. She’s strong.”

Retton’s daughter has also launched a SpotFund campaign, explaining that the Olympic legend is without insurance and is in need of financial assistance from her fans.

“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 concluded. “ANYTHING, absolutely anything, would be so helpful for my family and my mom. Thank y’all so very much!”

The initial fundraising goal was set at $50,000 but had already surpassed $125,000 by Thursday night, with contributions from over 2,600 donors.

Mary Lou Retton achieved iconic status in the United States after securing a gold medal in the individual all-around gymnastics competition at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. That same year, she also clinched two silver medals and two bronze medals, all at the tender age of 16. Retiring from professional gymnastics in 1986, she was later inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 1997 and made history as the first female athlete to be inducted into the Houston Sports Hall of Fame in 2020.”