Mary Lou Retton’s ‘DWTS’ Partner Sasha Farber Shares Health Update

Dancing With the Star pro Sasha Farber is opening up about former celeb partner Mary Lou Retton’s frightening health battle.

On Tuesday morning, the Olympian’s daughter, McKenna Kelley, revealed that her mom is facing serious health struggles, as she “has a very rare form of pneumonia and is fighting for her life.”

After Tuesday’s DWTS, Farber — who competed alongside Retton during season 27 in 2018 — spoke with ET’s Denny Directo, and revealed that he’d spoken with the iconic gymnast earlier in the day.

“I’ve been talking to her today and she’s fighting,” shared Farber, who was joined by his current celeb 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!'”

When Farber and Retton teamed up for season 27, the pair wound up being the fifth couple to get eliminated, but remained close friends in the years since.

“She was in LA [a few weeks] ago and she wanted to meet up, [but] I had rehearsals and I couldn’t,” Farber shared. “She was like, ‘Let me take you out for dinner,’ and I couldn’t go because I had rehearsals.”

Eric McCandless/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

“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.”

According to the post written by Retton’s daughter, the celebrated athlete “is not able to breathe on her own. She’s been in the ICU for over a week now.” But despite her concerning medical condition, Farber feels confident she’ll recover quickly.

“She’s a fighter. She’s going to be great,” the DWTS pro shared. “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 also posted a link to a SpotFund campaign and explained that the Olympic legend “is not insured” and needs help from 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 fundraising goal was set at $50,000, but had already surpassed $125,000 by Thursday night, from over 2,600 donors.

David Madison/Getty Images

Retton was one of the most iconic athletes in the country after she took home the gold medal in the individual all-around gymnastics competition at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. That same year, she also earned two silver medals and two bronze medals, all at the age of 16.

She retired from professional gymnastics in 1986. She was later inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 1997 and earned the honor of being the first female athlete to be inducted into the Houston Sports Hall of Fame in 2020.

Meanwhile, fans can continue to watch Farber and Hannigan’s race for the Len Goodman Mirrorball Trophy when Dancing With the Stars airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC and Disney+.

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