In Memory of Susanne "Susie" Gravelle

Susanne "Susie" Marie Gravelle, age 45, passed away peacefully on September 14, 2019 from her long time battle with bvFTD. It has been a long road, but we are at peace knowing that she is in a better place. She will forever look over her two sons, Gavin & Julian, who she loved with all of her heart. 

In lieu of flowers or other condolences, we are choosing to help support the people that helped care for Susie day to day. This GoFundMe is set up for all of the people behind the scenes that made sure Susie was safe, well cared for, and allowed us to sleep at night.  Please find more information below:

FTD is a degenerative brain disease which Susie was unfortunately diagnosed with in February of 2015. According to the AFTD Organization, “the hallmarks of bvFTD are personality changes, apathy, and a progressive decline in socially appropriate behavior, judgment, self-control, and empathy. Unlike in Alzheimer’s disease, memory is usually relatively spared in bvFTD. People with bvFTD typically do not recognize the changes in their own behavior, or exhibit awareness or concern for the effect their behavior has on the people around them.” It has been a long road, and there has been a lot of associated care as a result of this awful disease.

Thank you to EVERYONE for your love and support during this difficult time. We appreciate all of your good thoughts and energy sent our way. Susie will forever be in our hearts. 

Allocation of Donations:

Iris:    Iris has been Susie's caretaker at Maplewood from day one. She has gone above and beyond her call of duty to make sure Susie was safe and cared for. She has been nothing short of amazing, and we are so grateful to her for giving us the ability to try and carry out normal lives, especially for Gavin and Julian. Because of Susie, Iris has decided to pursue additional training and education in the care sector, and we would like to help her out with tuition.  A portion of the donations will go straight to Iris to help pay for her schooling and to thank her for her time and dedication to Susie.

Additional Aides:     There have been more aides that have helped Susie along the way, especially at the end, and we'd like to thank them for everything that they have done for Susie and our family. 

Joan:     Joan has been Susie's care manager from day one. She has helped with every aspect of Susie's care and has been a critical asset to our family. We couldn't have navigated this awful disease without her, and she has done a wonderful job, never losing sight of Susie's best interests. She has been absolutely invaluable. 

Maplewood:     Maplewood at Stony Hill had so many other wonderful people behind the scenes that provided daily support. They have all fallen in love with Susie and deserve to be acknowledged. Part of the donations will go as a gift to the Maplewood staff.

Memorial:     To honor Susie, we'd like to do something in her name. May it be a bench, or a donation to the Westport Garden Club to plant a garden in her name, we would like to memorialize her life in some way. Part of the donations will go towards this, and we will be happy to let everyone know what we've decided on. 

AFTD Organization:    The AFTD is a non-profit organization with a mission to improve the quality of life for people affected by FTD, and drive research for a cure. We will be making a donation in memory of Susie. 

Recent 60 Minutes Feature Story : “The Cruelest Disease You’ve Never Heard Of” 

For more information on FTD, please visit the FTD website at .
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Kerri Sorensen 
Westport, CT
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