When Damika Wilson heard the results of her annual Mammogram in May of last year, her determined response left her doctor stunned. “When my Doctor called me with the results at 7am that Monday morning, she sounded really upset like she had been crying,” said Wilson. “I told her you need to get yourself together since you start seeing patients at 8am. She asked if I heard what she told me and I said yes I did. You just tell me what you need me to do and I will show up and do it.”
That resilient, “get the job done” attitude became the driving force of Damika’s breast cancer journey. Damika who started working for Deployed Resources in 2012 as a Housekeeping Aid, never stopped working throughout her diagnosis and treatments. “I knew that if I sat at home and looked at 4 walls all day that I would get depressed. I can’t do that – I need to live my life,” said Wilson, a mother of 3 children – Devarious, who also works for Deployed Resources, Kendora, and Darius. Wilson’s first surgery on the right side where the cancer had originated took place on December 10th. The very next day she was back at work. “As long as I’m working and staying busy, that’s what’s going to keep me fighting and moving. I’m thankful to Devarious and Mac who were there to help and support me during that time.”
On December 20th, Damika’s resolve would be tested again as she learned the cancer had spread to her left side and required an additional surgery. Fortunately, Damika’s cancer was found early enough that she did not require chemotherapy but instead required radiation treatments. From February through the middle of March, Damika would work her usual 7am – 3pm shift with Deployed Resources before going directly to her 4:15 radiation appointment. “I would walk in there smiling and the doctor said he wished all patients were like me. That I was his inspiration because I come through the door happy as if I have no worries in the world.”
Wilson, who lost her Grandmother to stomach cancer in 1995, said that staying positive was what got her through her diagnosis and journey. “I raised 3 children as a single Mother and told myself I’m going to fight this and stay positive,” she said. While at work, the soldiers and military personnel thankful attitudes and smiles kept her motivated as well. “When they would come back from their training and say thank you for everything you do for us, that kept me going,” said Wilson speaking of the military operations Deployed Resources supports.
“I know that if you treat people the way you want to be treated that it will come back to you. Don’t take your pain and anger out on others,” she added.
Wilson’s goal was to not miss a beat while working and not to disappoint Deployed Resources’ CEO Rich Stapleton saying, “I have so much respect and admiration for Rich that I didn’t want to disappoint him. I couldn’t wait to see him and tell him about my journey.” Stapleton, who is extremely proud and inspired by Wilson, her story, and overall attitude throughout her journey said, “Damika has always been a driven person who works hard. When she told me her story a few weeks ago, I was speechless. Her work ethic, perseverance, and over the top positive attitude I always knew, but for her to work through this without impacting her job, is very impressive.”
Damika who has grown with Deployed Resources and risen to the position of Site Manager now oversees all site operations and logistics in Fayetteville, NC. Dana Brewer, Operations Liaison of Field Operations and Damika’s manager, commented on her ability to persevere during an extremely difficult time. “In the past two years I have found that Damika has taken ownership of the site she manages and has built a relationship with the Site’s Cadre on her “taking care of the troops” attitude. Damika has shown a willingness to learn whether it be in her computer skills, or the maintenance checks required to ensure there are no breaks in service,” Brewer said on Damika’s strong work ethic within the company.
During Damika’s battle with breast cancer, both her sons, Devarious and Darius, graduated high school with honors and her daughter, Kendora, continued to teach English to children in South Korea. “I’m extremely thankful to still be here, be cancer-free, and still have a job. I can’t ask for anything else. Everything I’ve done I worked hard for, I was able to keep – my home, my family, and my job.”