Julie Baird has been a passionate advocate for MND-related causes, raising tens of thousands of dollars for research.
Training for an MND Victoria fundraiser is helping Julie and her family through an unrelated health challenge, as well as the sale of their cafe in Maiden Gully, which the Bairds have had for more than five years.
"You've got to deal with the cards you're given," Julie said.
New era for cafe and its owners
THE owners of the Maiden Gully Cafe have thanked the community for its support, as they prepare to leave the business.
Julie and Bill Baird have sold their cafe, which will become Soul M8's Takeaway.
The Soul M8's food truck will be up for sale as owners Ray Miller and Kat Lakey settle into their new space.
The Bairds have had the Maiden Gully Cafe for more than five years.
Bill has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, after a period of illness.
Julie said she didn't have the manpower to continue with the cafe after Bill got sick.
Friday is the Maiden Gully Cafe's last day.
"The community out here is beautiful," Julie said.
She had planned to walk away from the business quietly, but the Maiden Gully Progress Association made sure the family's contributions to the community were recognised in a social media post.
The post prompted an outpouring of love and appreciation for the Bairds and their business.
Story continues below Facebook post
The Bairds have been part of the Maiden Gully community for about seven years.
Julie said people had been eager to lend a hand during Bill's illness, from dropping by the house to pay him a visit to helping with the garden.
The community had also supported her efforts to raise money for MND research.
Julie raised more than $130,000 for the Daniher's Drive, a Fight MND fundraising initiative.
"It is the Maiden Gully community that's helped me raise the money," she said.
Some of her fundraising activities took place through the cafe.
Julie said one of her outlets from what she knew would be tough times for her family was training to trek the Kokoda Trail with sons Adam and Travis, as part of an MND Victoria fundraiser.
The Bairds are among the top fundraisers for MND Victoria's 'Ultimate Challenge', which is scheduled for May. They have already raised about $22,000 for the cause.
Julie said Bill had two family members who served at the Kokoda Trail.
"Its been our dream to do this," Julie said.
Ray said he and Kat were inspired by people like Julie, and wished her all the best.
"They're huge shoes to fill," Ray said.
The cafe will be closed for renovations for a couple of weeks before opening as Soul M8's Takeaway.
Ray said he and Kat prided themselves on their food, which had built up a following.
The cafe will re-open with a new menu, in addition to a new name.
"We'd like to be part of the community," Ray said.
To support the Bairds' fundraising for MND Victoria's Ultimate Challenge, visit mycause.com.au/page/231189/julie-baird