KALAMAZOO - After being born with hemophilia and spending most of his life battling Osteosarcoma, MacKale McGuire just completed his first full season on the Kalamazoo College golf team.
“When I was 11 years old, I was diagnosed with a decently rare form of bone cancer,” said the Cadillac native. “Directly after that I started chemotherapy and went through a surgery process to keep the leg, which worked for a while. But about a year and a half later, that failed. I loved athletics so much and I really wanted to get back to that. I decided that as opposed to taking the risk of trying the same surgery again and it possibly failing again, I decided to go with amputation. I was able to become good enough with an amputation that I’m now playing college golf, so I couldn’t be more blessed.”
The freshman’s positivity and persistence lead him to the opportunity of being on a golf team at the collegiate level. He received the full student athlete experience with both a fall and spring season. It has been living up to what college is all about: creating his own journey and making the most of it.
“One of the advantages with the prosthetic is that I was able to work as hard as I wanted and that would dictate how much I was able to do,” said McGuire.
The prosthetic leg syncs with an app on his phone, so it changes settings depending on the activity or sport he is playing. He currently has three options: walking, cycling and golf. When in golf mode, it recognizes his shift of weight from one leg to the other so that he doesn’t fall over.
When competing, he will talk with his opponents beforehand, so they know why he is on his phone or using a golf cart (both are not allowed during competitions).
“I like to address it up front,” said McGuire. “I don’t want there to be any confusion.”
MacKale is currently majoring in Biology at Kalamazoo College. After being exposed to medicine so much, he aspires to be an oncologist and hematologist.