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Tuesdays with Julian

My beloved Dad, Julian Block, died on the 19th of January 2016 after battling motor neurone disease. Thankfully he died suddenly of heart failure so was spared a long and drawn out decline. The disease affected his diaphragm first rather than his limbs so while his breathing was compromised, he was not wheel chair bound.

He was funny, clever, generous, kind, sometimes grumpy and eccentric, qualities which were celebrated in his obituary, 'Gruff exterior hid a generous heart'.

If I am thankful at all for the disease, it is for the quality time I spent with him in the last 2 years of his life. I picked him up every Tuesday for a swim at Nielsen Park and lunch, a chance to talk just us and my three sisters had similar regular dates with him.

Just before he died, we were able to have our annual family holiday in Port Stephens and we were lucky to have family come from Israel, Germany and Sweden. Thanks to the wonderful lifeguards at One Mile Beach who ferried him to and from the shore in their buggy, he was able to enjoy the beach and even dip in the waves.

We call that holiday the long goodbye because we had the chance to all be together for a week of summer. He died 2 weeks later.

He was such a giant person in my life…I think about him every day and still can’t believe he is gone.

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Dad at Duchy's Beach, Port Stephens


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From left to right: Antonia (sister) Julian , Me and Jess (sister), One Mile Beach, Port Stephens.


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 Dad's Obituary in the Sydney Morning Herald, February 2016.

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Since 2016, Ceramicists Vanessa Holle and Bec Chua have auctioned their special edition ceramics, donating the monies raised to the MND Research Institute of Australia. MND Australia would like to thank these talented artists for their generous support. 

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