MATTHEWS, N.C. — Growing up, Kaleb Dufrene said playing outside didn’t always have the best outcome. When he was a toddler, he said they started noticing 'strange inconsistencies' with his health.
“One day I would be out in the yard playing and then the next day I would be inside sick in bed with a really high fever," Dufrene said.
At the age of 8, he was diagnosed with immunodeficiency.
“That basically means that my body cant fight normal infections like other people’s body can," Dufrene said.
COVID-19 made things even harder.
“Not having that immune system barrier and not having kind of that thought in the back of mind that my own body can protect me caused a lot of just anxiety and fear," Dufrene said.
Dufrene knew that wasn’t the way he wanted to live.
He turned toward writing to transform his pain and depression into a way to heal.
This November, the Weddington High School senior is set to publish "Uneven Sidewalks."
“It pretty much talks about how we're walking down the same walk but all of our cracks are different," Dufrene said.
Dufrene wants readers who may be facing a similar battle to know it’s okay to heal from what may be hurting them this pandemic.
“The book is divided into two different parts," Dufrene said. “Stumbling is part one and ascending is part two, and 'Uneven Sidewalks' is placed in the middle as the ground between what you’re going through and [your] healing.”
“You can really see me from in that dark place going back into the light again," Dufrene said. “I hope the book inspires them to get back up again.”