Living Well

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Doug Dirks

Doug Dirks

Dauntless Doug’s Debilitating Disease: the CBC Radio One Calgary host's long awaited life-changing surgery

Doug Dirks has been a prominent figure in Alberta for the past three decades. The host of The Homestretch on CBC Radio One in Calgary is a busy man. The list of shows he’s been a part of is extensive and quite diverse: a testament of the man’s versatility.

Somehow, that never stopped him from being extremely active while away from the microphone.

“I grew up playing just about every sport imaginable. Hockey, basketball, golf… you name it.”

On top of that, the 58-year-old is often seen in his community, hosting numerous events for charities ranging from local to national. So when the Arthritis Society came knocking, he answered the call.

Photography of Doug DirksBut this time, it was personal.

What most people don’t know about the play by play commentator for CBC’s coverage of the Beijing, Rio and PyeongChang Olympic Games is that he’s been dealing with chronic pain for quite some time.

“As a young adult, I’ve had knee and back surgeries resulting from sports injuries that later added chronic pain to my daily diet. Unfortunately, my operating surgeon was right by predicting this would eventually become my reality.”

Doug says his real wake-up call came in his mid-40s however.

“I thought I pulled a groin playing summer hockey. After an examination, I was told I had osteoarthritis in my left hip. I was shocked! I put off hip replacement surgery for far too long, but finally had it done in 2015.”

Sadly, his long battle with osteoarthritis didn’t end there. His right hip now also requires surgery and he’s currently facing an 18-month wait before a surgeon can operate on it.

While Doug is thankful for the work the Arthritis Society has done to help people such as himself living with arthritis, he knows there is much more that can be done.

“I'm still in my 50s, trying to stay as active as possible, and have learned to live with chronic pain. Given my history, and our aging population, I'm happy to do anything I can to support arthritis research.”