Susan's Village

How would you feel if you loved being outdoors, were an avid gardener, and enjoyed using your talents to help our community...yet found yourself housebound and unable to move from the neck down? 

Our neighbor, Susan Balleza would be able to describe it, if only she could talk.  For over a year and a half, Susan has been suffering from a serious case of chronic Lyme with symptoms that mimic ALS.

 A resident of Swampscott and a wife and mother of four, Susan has been a creative and active participant in our community for over twenty years.  She and her husband, Chris, raised their four children in Swampscott (Shelby, Luke, Alex and Jaclyn).  As a landscape designer, Susan was the primary designer of Howland Park, located at the top of Monument Avenue, and has offered her professional expertise on other sites throughout the Olmsted District.


Yet she finds herself being treated at home with round the clock nursing care.  Her family is hoping a long regimen of intensive antibiotics will help her to regain some of the abilities that have been stolen from her. 

She is completely lucid, loves watching series on TV like the Tudors and Game of Thrones, and says an awful lot with her eyes.  She’s a testament to the human spirit and determination.  In one of our visits, she used her special laser glasses to glance at letters on a board and form a question.  She wanted to know how her gardens were doing.

For those who know Susan, we know that she would never solicit help for herself.  Yet we all know medical costs go above and beyond what insurance can cover.  And with her husband often having to take off work to manage her care, it’s time for some community support.

For all she’s given to us, please consider supporting Susan and her family at this dark time in their lives. 

·    Your generosity can help Susan win the fight with this disease;

·    You can relieve the family of some serious financial burdens facing them;

·    Most of all, you can offer a symbol of love and support that this family needs right now.

 Let’s make it so that Susan doesn’t have to worry about her family at a time when she should be getting better. 

Thanks so very much.

If you have questions, contact the following individuals:
Nancy Wolinski
Toni Bandrowicz
Tara Gallagher
Jenn Dorsey
  • Rachael Barber 
    • $20 
    • 29 mos
  • Lauren Serino 
    • $50 
    • 29 mos
  • Margarita Kagan 
    • $10 
    • 30 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $5,000 
    • 35 mos
  • Sara Levy 
    • $100 
    • 38 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Jennifer Dorsey 
Swampscott, MA
Susan Balleza Fund 
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