A Love Story

sc0007decbTherese Marie Crutcher and John Anthony Marin, college sweethearts who like many couples planned to marry after graduation and begin a life together. During their senior year, John’s three sisters discover a daunting family secret that makes Therese question life with the love of her life.

The secret, Huntington’s disease, a progressive, protracted, deadly brain disorder killed their mother, Phyllis Iva, who lived at Napa State Hospital for eighteen years.  Huntington’s usually strikes between the ages of 30-45, stealing a person’s ability to walk, talk, and think. John and his three sisters each have a 50/50 chance of inheriting it.

After much soul searching, Therese takes the biggest gamble of her life and marries John knowing the possible consequences of her decision. She embraces life with John, a life shrouded in uncertainty of Huntington’s disease and their love deepens creating a bond that cannot be broken.  At times Scan 7stress consumes Therese but she always finds comfort and strength in her soulmate.  As Lora, Marcia and then Cindy fall prey to HD, Therese tries to manage her fear while compassionately caring for her three friends.

Therese lives in Auburn with John, now 62 years young, the surviving sibling of the Marin family devastated by Huntington’s disease. Both are retired and involved in local social issues that are dear to their hearts such 89c31a95-c3a3-4cc8-a963-c8a5dcc32562as homelessness, art, Huntington’s disease and precious open space in Placer County.

John was tested for Huntington’s and on January 8, 2016  Dr. Vicki Wheelock, UC Davis neurologist, told us that his test was NEGATIVE!



  • Reply Jennifer Owens March 12, 2016 at 9:22 am

    Whewww!! This has been the cycle in our family also. My grandma had 4 children, 3 girls and a boy. All 3 women are at the end stages of Huntingtons, my mother being one. My self and my sister have both been tested. I am positive,she is not! My brother has not yet been tested. Many people ask me why did I chose to get tested? I have almost always known that I too would have HD after all, I was “my mother’s child” Almost every thing in our lives have been identical. My life is almost a repeat of hers. I was beginning to notice the signs but kept it to myself. I wanted my mother to be able to fight her fight without knowing my fate. I am mostly healthy other than being a little bit over weight and living a life battling addiction. My symptoms are mostly cognitive at this time. I chose to get tested so that I could be a guinea pig. So that I can be a part of research so that I can make people aware of this disease!!!! I thank you for your work and have faith that this will be published!!!!

    • Reply crutcht March 12, 2016 at 10:38 am

      I admire you for wanting to help with the research. My sister-in-law, Cindy, who lived in Canada most of her life, participated in a clinical trial in the 1990’s because she wanted to help. Cindy and her sister Marcia, both donated brain tissue for research when they died. My book will get published one way or the other but now I’m working to get a large publishing firm to take it. If you saw the movie or heard about the book, “Still Alice” it’s about a woman with early onset of Alzheimers. I believe there can be a movie about Huntington’s disease. Take Care. Therese

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