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Mark Lawrence Bernstein
April 13, 1951 ~ August 15, 2023 (age 72) 72 Years Old
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My husband, Mark was born in Queens, New York in 1951. He was the younger child of Evelyn Sobel and David Bernstein and the little brother of Roberta. He went to school in Rochester NY where he studied religion and mathematics and formed a life long bond with his math Professor, Norman Alling. He contemplated becoming a rabbi before he heard the louder calling of the medical profession. He returned to New York City to study medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. After trying general practice he turned to paediatrics and never looked back eventually joining the paediatric oncology department at Montreal Children’s Hospital as a paediatric hematologist. As well as performing his clinical role, caring for children with cancer, he was very committed to clinical research. He was a leader of the North American neuroblastoma screening research team and became a leading figure in the Children’s Oncology Group, a network of specialist centres across U.S., Canada, and a number of international locations working to advance the care of children with cancer. In 2006 he moved to Halifax in Nova Scotia and we married there in 2007. Initially he took up the post of Chief of Paediatric Oncology and he was later appointed Chief of Paediatrics while also continuing his leadership role with the Children’s Oncology Group. I had the privilege of working with him in Halifax on the Canadian Children and Young Person’s Cancer Registry and in establishing the Beatrice Hunter Cancer Research Institute at Dalhousie University. I found him, as have the many others who have worked with him, to be a kind, considerate and generous colleague, always well informed, well prepared and supportive. Mark had two children, Josh and Liane of whom he was immensely proud and three step-children Tim, James and Franny who hecame to love greatly. As well as being an outstanding doctor, a committed scientist and a loving husband, father and step-father, Mark was great fun to be with. It seemed there was nothing I was curious about that he didn’t know at least something about and so many things that he knew about in depth. He was passionate about music and had a collection of several thousand CD’s which included jazz, blues, classical genres and selections of the best music from medieval times to recent times - including of course his fellow New Yorker Bob Dylan. Mark was always very active. He greatly enjoyed riding his road bike, weight lifting, squash, rock climbing and hiking, and more recently got great pleasure playing with our dogs, Q and Z and the cats, Henry and Louie. Mark was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2016 and we retired shortly after that and moved to Port Williams in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia. Mark loved the quiet and beauty of the landscape and during the COVID lockdown we were sustained by the ever changing views from our house and the sight of eagles and raven soaring across the sky every day. Mark faced his illness with tremendous courage. He occasionally swore, but I never heard him complain. Not once. Sadly, the disease got the upper hand and enveloped in the love of myself, Josh, Liane, Tim, James, Franny and her partner Sam, Mark died peacefully at home on the fifteenth of August, 2023. He was the kindest, bravest man I have ever known. He was the love of my life and I miss him morning, noon and night.