St. Joseph County woman fighting cancer surprised with blessing parade

Published: Apr. 6, 2020 at 12:28 AM EDT
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The Saturday rain failed to rain out the blessing parade for a St. Joseph County woman who has blessed countless people. Shari Holm, of North Liberty, burst into tears when more than 30 vehicles careened down her country road to encourage her amid her fight against stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

Her daughter's childhood friends planned the surprise, keeping social distance at the forefront amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"It was just awesome - awesome to be a part of it," said Sherry Bozman, one of the parade organizers.

Bozman and her friend, Julie Allison, of South Bend orchestrated the parade using the Facebook page Shari's family uses to update loved ones about chemo treatments and progress. For Allison, it was also an opportunity to return kindness to Shari.

"She's so strong. She's so thoughtful. She's always loving, always smiling. She's just genuinely a wonderful person," listed Allison.

Cindi Pedersen, Shari's daughter, said the parade exemplified the selfless love her mom has always shared with others.

"The one thing that we can still count on [during the pandemic] is the fact that love makes a difference, and they did that for my mom and dad [at the parade]," said Pedersen. "They showed them that, you know, 'We love you, and we're praying for you, and we're going to walk with you through this, even when we can't be right next to you - or six feet away.'"

Holm just wrapped up her third chemotherapy treatment. Good luck, Shari!