Sioux Falls man shares his story of overcoming tragic life events, lives to inspire others

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KSFY) - A Sioux Falls man is overcoming obstacles he started to face at just six years old. Now he's telling his story in hopes of inspiring others throughout his journey of healing.

Isaiah Borgum lost his mother and sister to aids when he was just six years old. Years later he then lost a close cousin to gun violence. These tragedies lead him down a path of alcohol addiction. He is now 30-years-old today and a majority of those years were spent in tragedy.

First, Isaiah Borgum's cousin, Jordan Schiager was gunned down by a woman at his apartment complex. Schiager had been seeing the woman for two months. The two were said to be high on drugs at the time of the shooting.

"She had said that the drugs actually had possessed her and told her to murder my cousin and she went and got a gun that my cousin had and shot him," Borgum said.

The family was shocked that this happened, but rewinding back to Borgum at just age six his mother was fighting an unknown illness.

"They had to take her to like a specialist and do various different tests to figure out exactly what it was because originally they couldn't pinpoint and figure out why my mom was so ill. So after doing all the special tests, they found out my mom had contracted AIDS and actually gave it to my sister," Borgum said.

It was South Dakota’s first case of mother-to-child AIDS transfer. Later it killed his mother and a year later it took his four-year-old sister who fought with such spirit and strength.

"I was floored, I was devastated because it seems like everything in my life is just so full of death and that death is a common factor for me," Borgum said.

Eventually growing up with this pain he turned to alcohol to cope even going as far as getting a few DUI’s with one as recent as a year ago. But even though the events were tragic for him he learned there can be growth from them.

"I know that there were other people out there that could relate to what I’ve been through on some type of scale whether that's losing a loved one, overcoming addiction or maybe a miscarriage whatever it is in life. Life throws us hardships so I decided I wanted to do something positive out of all the negative events," Borgum said.

Slowly but surely Isaiah wrestled with the trauma of losing his close family members. It led him down a dark path leaving him to feel lost and confused, but through all of this he was able to turn his anger and depression into a book called 'Obstacles, Lessons and Hope.' He speaks on his story to people who are also going down the wrong path.