Ross can't separate Livestrong from Armstrong
Jan Ross hates that she can't dissociate Lance Armstrong from the Livestrong movement.
“It wasn't really about him; it was about surviving cancer,” Ross said. “But I don't know how you can see ‘Livestrong' and that brand without seeing him.
“It's sad and it's a shame, but they just go together. They always have.”
A few years ago, the Oklahoma women's basketball assistant wore the campaign's signature yellow wristband while her cousin fought leukemia. The bracelet broke about two years before her breast cancer diagnosis last April.
Ross had surgery in May, toiled throughout summer chemotherapy treatments and is now back at work, her cancer in full remission.
“It'll be interesting to see if it continues,” Ross said of the Livestrong Foundation. “You'd think they'd need somebody else to come in and take it over. ... Him and that brand were so related.”
Ross added that she was very disappointed watching Oprah Winfrey's interview with Armstrong last week, when the seven-time Tour de France winner admitted using performance enhancing drugs, despite a decade-plus of denials and brazen condemnations of — and lawsuits against — those who told the truth.
“I was glued to the TV and anxious to see what it was like,” Ross said. “I was disappointed. Even though I knew what he was going to say ... I was still just sad. Just so sad.
“Him lying is one thing, but him taking other people down that were telling the truth? That's just amazing.”
Coale's feelings on Livestrong unchanged
Sherri Coale proudly answered in the affirmative when asked if she's ever worn a yellow “Livestrong” wristband.
“Oh gosh yeah; absolutely,” said Oklahoma's women's basketball coach, whose mother and best friend each defeated cancer over the past few years.
Beverly Stash, Coale's mother, won her battle with lymphoma nearly three years ago.
Then last April, Jan Ross, a longtime OU assistant and Coale's closest friend, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her cancer is now in remission.
Coale said Lance Armstrong's confession last week that he doped — and lied about it for more than a decade — doesn't change her feelings toward the movement he pioneered.
“Not to me,” she said. “It's about fighting cancer. It's never been about a person to me. I've never associated it with an individual. It's a cause.”