Denise Haidet’s friends wanted to show her how much they care.

CANTON TWP. When Jan Almasy was a new nurse, experienced co-workers like Denise Haidet helped him to find his bearings.


“She always had a way of making me feel she had my back, calming me down,” he recalled.


Almasy is one of dozens of people who took part in a parade for Haidet, an Aultman ICU nurse fighting bile duct cancer.


On Sunday, a caravan of 25 cars filled with more than 50 friends, co-workers and well-wishers made five laps past Haidet’s home in Canton Township to offer encouragement as she watched from her patio.


“I just happened to working at ICU this past weekend, when I looked up on the white board and saw information about the parade,” Almasy said.


The parade was the idea of Kim Dougan, medical ICU manager, and Haidet’s daughter, Miranda, who is also an ICU nurse, Almasy said.


“We just wanted to get everyone together so she could start her day with a smile,” Dougan said in statement. “We know that she’s in this fight and that she’s all in. We wanted her to know that we’re all in with her!”


Another coworker, Natasha Reichman Akers, organized a GoFundMe campaign (https://www.gofundme.com/f/denise-haidet) to assist Haidet with her medical expenses. So far, more than $7,500 has been raised.


Almsay, who also co-owns Apex Communications, produced a video of the parade.


When asked to respond to the outpouring of support, Haidet told Almasy, “I don’t have words. I just feel so loved... and I’m just completely overwhelmed.”


Daughter Miranda added, “I’m just so thankful for everyone that had a part in making today happen. It means a lot to my mom and I.”


"When it comes to mentoring younger nurses, there’s people who have a real heart for it, and want people to succeed, and Denise is one of those people through and through,” Almasy said. “I tried to return the favor for her support. It was awesome to see everybody in solidarity.“


Reach Charita at 330-580-8313 or charita.goshay@cantonrep.com


On Twitter: @cgoshayREP


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