By Rob Moseley
When Oregon defensive lineman Stetzon Bair found out the Ducks’ long-rumored pink uniforms would be worn in a game, one of the first people he told was his step-mother.
The uniforms the UO football team will wear Saturday night against Washington State are intended to raise awareness and money for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. Bair’s step-mother, Corina, is a breast cancer survivor.
“She broke down and started crying when she found out,” Bair said today after practice, a few hours after the athletic department publicly unveiled the pink helmets, gloves and socks Oregon will wear for Saturday’s 7:05 p.m. game (FOX Sports 1).
“It’s something that really touched home for her.”
Corina Bair was diagnosed a dozen years ago. Told the cancer would prevent her from having a child, she tried anyway, and now Stetzon has a 10-year-old younger brother, Taggart.
Last month, Corina received another diagnosis. She had surgery Wednesday, and doctors said they successfully removed the new cancer. Despite the procedure this week, Corina plans to attend Friday night’s UO volleyball match – in which Bair’s wife, Bethany Bair, and the Ducks will wear pink socks and shoelaces – as well as Saturday’s football game.
“She just got out of surgery yesterday, but this is something she really wanted to be here for,” Bair said.
Bair is one of a number of UO players with family affected by women’s cancers. Tyson Coleman’s aunt, Diane Knispel of Hillsboro, also is a cancer survivor who will be in attendance Saturday.
Knispel has been attending Coleman’s games off and on since he was in high school, but he made a point of ensuring he could provide her tickets for this one.
“It’ll be special for her, just showing that we care for them,” Coleman said.
Linebacker Derrick Malone has a grandmother who also has battled cancer. He has a diamond tattooed on the inside of his right upper arm, representing the strength she showed in that fight.
“The things she’s been through, and is still pushing through, it means a lot for us to acknowledge it,” Malone said.
Other observations: The Ducks wore the pink cleats in practice today, breaking them in for Saturday’s game. The team tested the helmets way back during the bye week in September. … Today’s practice was Oregon’s walk-through, and the team will hold its “Fast Friday” workout tomorrow to ramp up the tempo.