ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Max McGaha sat down on a seat over home plate Monday evening, leaned over on the table in front of him and signed a letter of intent to play baseball for New Mexico Junior College. The La Cueva pitcher and first baseman is thankful that he will have the opportunity to continue to pursue the game he loves.

“You know, they’ve just been a really good team in the past,” said McGaha. “I’m excited to play for them and, you know, it’s just a great opportunity. I’m just here for the ride.”

What makes McGaha’s signing at NMJC so special is what he came back from. McGaha is a cancer survivor. Leukemia made an attempt to shorten his life, but McGaha beat it. It was about two years ago that he won that battle.

With the victory, McGaha went from a very frail 120 pounds as a sophomore to his current weight as a senior of 180 pounds. “I see everything, like, a lot different,” said McGaha. “Taking things for granted, it’s a lot easier not to do that just because I’ve seen the worst, like, I can possibly be. I was in the hospital for, like, a year. There’s nothing worse than that. Everything outside of that, just to even be able to wake up. Like they say, I know it’s corny but, it’s true. You wake up and it’s a great opportunity.”

McGaha and the La Cueva Bears return to the diamond Tuesday when they host the Los Lunas Tigers.