Sportstalk show host, Schenectady native Bruce recovering from stroke

Has highly successful show in San Francisco
Damon Bruce is working his way back onto the air following a stroke.
Damon Bruce is working his way back onto the air following a stroke.

Life had been going well for Damon Bruce.

The Schenectady native, 1993 Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons High School graduate and one-time Schenectady Gazette paperboy has a highly successful sportstalk show on KGMZ-FM “95.7 The Game” in San Francisco. Last November, he got married.

At the age of 42, it seemed like everything was going Bruce’s way.

But life has a funny way of changing things.

Right before the NFL Draft in April, Bruce wasn’t feeling well. It turned out that he had suffered a stroke.

“I first noticed what can only be described as a fog in my body,” Bruce said during a recent telephone interview. “I had woken up the previous night and I was noticing a tingling, a numbness in my left arm and I was very restless. I came out to the couch because I didn’t want to bother my sleeping wife.

“And then the next morning, for the first time in my entire life, I did not want to prep my show. I didn’t want to think about sports and get excited for the NFL Draft or anything like that.”

When Bruce went to send an email to his program director about not feeling well, he noticed something odd about his left hand.

“It was not exactly firing the way it should,” Bruce said. “Then I took a shower, and I noticed my left hand had a little trouble scrubbing in the shampoo that it normally does.”

Bruce called his wife Gillian at work and told her what was going on. She came home and took him to the hospital. Bruce said he felt fine when he walked through the emergency room door.

“I felt like the boy who cried wolf going for even going there,” Bruce said. “I thought it was an overreaction.”

It turned out, it wasn’t an overreaction. After several tests, it was determined that Bruce suffered a stroke. He was kept in the hospital overnight for observation. But with the NFL Draft and an interview with the Golden State Warriors’ Steph Curry planned, Bruce wanted to get back to work.

However, that wasn’t happening.

“The nurse convinced me that anytime you wake up in the hospital is probably a day you should take off from work,” Bruce said. “As pigheaded as I am, I can’t even argue that.”

Bruce was released from the hospital and went home to rest. But things got worse when he got home.

“I felt myself start to deteriorate,” Bruce said. “That fog became a little bit of storm in my body. I called my wife, and we went right back to the hospital.”

This time, there would not be a one-night stay. Bruce was in the hospital for 22 days.

“My left side completely gave out,” Bruce said. “My left hand was temporarily paralyzed. My left arm could hardly move. My left leg was useless. The whole thing was a pretty scary event.”

Bruce said he has had a little hypertension and high blood pressure, and he didn’t have a great diet.

But still, to have a stroke at such a young age shocked him.

“It’s the biggest message my body has ever sent me: ‘You’re doing it wrong, buddy,’ ” Bruce said.

The stroke didn’t affect Bruce’s voice. During the interview, he sounded strong. His speech wasn’t slurred at all. He even joked about the stroke.

“I downloaded [the song] ‘The Stroke’ by Billy Squier,” he said. “I played it on my phone all the time just to motivate me. I’m going to mock my whole situation. That’s how I go through it.”

Bruce is slowly easing back into his work routine. He vows to take better care of himself and, what he learned from his caregivers, is that he shouldn’t be consumed by his job.

“One of the things they talked to me in the hospital was it’s still your vocation, it’s still what you do for a living,” Bruce said, “and you have to separate your vocation from your personal life, Even if you love what you do, you need a separation, you need to relax.

“I took all that to heart and plan on applying it for at least another 42 years.”

Reach Gazette Sportswriter Ken Schott at 395-3159,, or on Twitter @slapschotts. Read his take on sports broadcasting any time by checking out his blog, Parting Schotts, at

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