He lost his mom and sister to AIDS at a young age and never knew his dad. Now Isaiah Borgum has written a book to tell others that you can remain optimistic despite difficult times.
"This book is dedicated to my mom Pam and my sister Jazmine," Borgum said.
The 23-year-old's life story hasn't exactly been a fairy tale.
"Feels like the whole world is against them," Borgum said.
His first major obstacle was when he was four-years-old and found out his mother was dying from AIDS.
"I would hide under the stand and stay away because I couldn't handle seeing my mom like that, with all those tubes and IVs in her arm. That was very hard," Borgum said.
Two years later Borgum's mom died. The year after that his sister also died from AIDS.
"My sister was the bright of my life. She made me happy. She was the best thing that ever happened to me," Borgum said.
His mother and sister were the first case of mother-to-daughter transmission of HIV in South Dakota.
"When she died and losing all them, I went through my own stage of depression. I was really angry. I was resentful. I hated the world and everything in it," Borgum said.
Borgum stored that hate for years and went down a bad road. He ended up in jail for getting caught drinking and driving twice. During that time, Borgum did some soul-searching.
"When I get out, I'm going to try to make a difference and impact other people's lives," Borgum said.
He decided to write a book entitled, "Obstacles, Lessons and Hope."
AIDS is only part of Borgum's story in the book. They also lived on welfare and after his mother died, he lived with an alcoholic man.
"Just verbally abusive and he said I'm never going to amount to anything. I'm a waste of life," Borgum said.
Borgum says after years of feeling worthless, he now has a new outlook on life.
"You can go through whatever you go through. You can live on welfare. You can move around. You can not know your dad," Borgum said.
They're obstacles he overcame thanks to his faith, positive thinking and believing his loved ones are watching him from Heaven.
"As long as you remain optimistic and have some hope and you're positive and you have some type of belief and support system behind you, you can overcome any obstacle that you go through," Borgum said.