My Story – Samantha de Roque

The surgeons said I was extremely lucky to be alive. I didn’t feel lucky.

My troubles began in February 2006 when I was assaulted and stabbed by someone very close to me. I suffered major damage to my right lung and arm. It took many years of physical therapy and a dozen surgeries before I would regain almost complete function in my arm. About a year and a half after the stabbing, at the age of 22, I discovered I had breast cancer. I was very fortunate it was discovered early and the cancer was easily treated with surgery and radiation.

Fast-forward six years.

Samantha answering the phoneI had been working with the Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) without much success due to my seemingly never-ending health problems. I felt depressed and without much hope. In August of 2012, my counselor from the DOR called me asking if I would be interested in a Work Adjustment Training program through Goodwill ~ Redwood Empire. At first, I was confused—I never thought Goodwill was anything but thrift stores. I was so desperate for work, just to be up, active and doing something, I said yes!

It has been almost a year now that I have been working at Goodwill Industries of the Redwood Empire, and my confidence has never been higher. I truly love coming to work every day. My story has been one of healing and self-discovery, and I feel my coworkers at Goodwill have been behind me, supporting me every step of the way.

Hear more stories from people like Samantha.