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A Tough Decision That Changed My Life

Author Therese Crutcher-Marin

Have you been confronted with a tough decision, a life altering choice that will have a huge impact on the rest of your life?  Folks call it, “A fork in the road” and I had a very difficult decision, which road to take, at age 22.

Excerpt from the nonfiction book, Watching Their Dance: Chapter 1, paragraph 1

Some lives seem to move smoothly along a natural continuum, with one event or decision seeming to slide into the next. Such people seem to have faced no dramatic forks in the road, had few life-altering choices to make. Other lives, at least in hindsight, travel in a particular direction at one particular life-changing moment. That’s what happened to me, when, at age twenty-two, I suddenly had to confront the most complicated decision of my life.

To read about the road I chose and the life I had, sign up for my weekly blog at https://theresecrutchermarin.com and I’ll email you the first chapter of my nonfiction book, Watching Their Dance: Three Sisters, a Genetic Disease and Marrying into a Family At Risk for Huntington’s.  What is Huntington’s disease

Watching the Dance Huntingtons Disease100% of the cost of the book is being donated to the nonprofit, Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA) to help in the fight against Huntington’s disease.  To date, I’ve donated $15,000.00.  About HDSA

The nonfiction book is available on many book websites:  amazon.com    barnesandnoble.com   amazonkindle

We Can Never Lose HOPE……

 

 

About Author

The Empathy Gene

The word Empathy is the ability to imagine oneself in the condition of another; a vicarious participation in another’s emotions.

My mother holding me during my first Christmas

My mother, Cleo Rita (McKibben) Crutcher gifted me the Empathy Gene, a gene I was happy to receive. She was a kind hearted person who could empathize when others suffered losses, tragedies, helping however she could.

As a small child I saw compassion in my mothers daily activities.  One example I remember was when my sisters and I were sitting in the backseat of the car and we passed a car accident. As our car slowed down to pass the accident, I don’t know what exactly my mom saw, but she began to weep and began praying for the victims.

Articles on:     How to be more empathetic 

Psychologytoday.com/us/basics/empathy

I’m writing about the Empathy Gene, a positive gene to have because I write about the huntingtin gene, the mutated gene that causes Huntington’s disease (HD), the cruelest disease on the planet. HD symptoms are described as having ALS, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s – simultaneously and there is NO CURE. What is HD?

I focus on the huntingtin gene because I’m a Huntington’s Disease Advocate, having lost my mother-in-law and three sisters-in-law to this horrific disease.

It feels good to write about the Empathy Gene that’s a good gene to have in your family.

Author Therese Crutcher-Marin

Thanks Mom for your gift of empathy. (Jan. 12, 1930-July 19, 2006)

We Can Never Lose HOPE…………

Therese Crutcher-Marin author website:  https://theresecrutchermarin.com

2017 Book Tour, About Author

A Three Month Book Tour Journey

Three (3) years ago today, John and I headed out in our new 30 ft. RV, headed for the Midwest to promote the nonfiction book I had just published, Watching Their Dance: Three Sisters, a Genetic Disease and Marrying into a Family At Risk for Huntington’s. amazon-Mrs.-Therese Crutcher-Marin

The Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA) Annual Convention was being held Schaumburg IL that year and part of the book tour was to attend the convention where I would sell the book. One of reasons I wrote the book was to donate 100% of the proceeds to HDSA; two other reasons were to heighten Huntington’s disease (HD) awareness and honor my three sisters-in-law who had passed away from HD complications. hdsa/annual-convention/2017-2/

John and I spent three months touring the Midwestern states, Nebraska, Kansas, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, attending 11 HDSA Team Hope Walks, engaging with families at Walks, listening to their HD stores, talking with TEVA reps and selling the book. 

In July, we attended the four (4) day Woody Guthrie Folk Festival in Okemah OK, birthplace of Woody Guthrie. It was hotter than hades but a wonderful experience.  I was thrilled to meet some of the Arlo Guthrie family members.  We also visited the Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa OK and I held a book discussion with community members.  Woody Guthrie Folk Festival/2017-book-tour/

John and I returned home at the end of August 2017, and I wanted to keep traveling, but we needed to get back to reality. 

We Can Never Lose HOPE……

My author website:  https://theresecrutchermarin.com

Author Therese Crutcher-Marin

 

 

 

About Author

Therese Crutcher-Marin Huntington’s Disease Advocate

May is Huntington’s Disease Awareness Month!  #LetsTalkAboutHD

I’m a Huntington’s disease (HD) advocate and currently serve as Chair for the new HDSA San Francisco Bay Area Affiliate.   San Francisco Bay Area Affiliate 

I’m also a blogger and the author of the nonfiction book, Watching Their Dance: Three Sisters, a Genetic Disease and Marrying into a Family at Risk for Huntington’s, my inaugural book.  It’s an inspirational love story while living with the uncertainty of my husband, John, inheriting the fatal brain disorder, Huntington’s disease, which has no cure.  What is Huntington’s Disease?

Goodread gave my book a review and said,  “A poignant remembrance of a love forged in crisis”.   

My story is about the power of HOPE than the wages of Huntington’s. It may sound strange to most folks, but my marriage was actually fortified by its precariousness—I learned to love more deeply in the shadow of John’s mortality.  Knowing that my world could change overnight taught me to live MINDFULLY each and every day and never take John, our life, our love for granted.  Living with this huge uncertainty also taught me to FORGIVE, LOVE UNCONDITIONALLY and  NOT SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF.

“A true story that is as uplifting as it is heartbreaking”. KirkusReviews

HDSA 2019 Convention

Through this experience I learned that, We Can Never Lose HOPE

As of May 7, 2020, John and I are donating 100% of the book purchase price to the nonprofit, Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA).  To date, John and I have donated over $15,000.00, the book profit, to help in the fight against Huntington’s disease.  My Author Website, where you can purchase the book, is https://theresecrutchermarin.com

Therese at the 2018 HDSA Annual Convention in LA.

                              

 

About Author, Huntington's Disease

Unlocking the Marin Family Secret

When Lora, Marcia and Cindy, John’s sisters found out the family secret, their mother, Phyllis, had Huntington’s disease (HD), I remember being afraid but I didn’t know what I was afraid yet.

“Yet” is the key word. I’d never heard of HD or seen anyone with the disease, but by the look on the three women’s faces that day, I knew it couldn’t be good. The Marin Family Secret was about to be unlocked.

Phyllis Marin

This is the scene from my book, Watching Their Dance when the three Marin sisters told John and me what they had discovered.

(Chapter 1 page 14)

Cindy speaking: 

“The three of us visited Aunt Evelyn last week,” she began. 

“It’s been years since we’d seen her, and we decided it was time to reconnect.”  She looked at me.  “She’s our mother’s younger sister; she lives about an hour south of Sacramento, in Galt. 

We learned from her that we have a genetic disease in our family, called Huntington’s disease. 

Our mother, Phyllis, and three of her sibling had it.”  She paused a moment to let the words sink in. 

“We rarely saw our mother’s siblings after she died, so we were unaware that they had suffered from it.  It’s an inherited disease that causes the progressive breakdown of nerve cells in the brain.  It affects muscle coordination and leads to behavioral symptoms and, um, mental and physical decline.”

Needless to say, this conversation that took place on a cold November day, changed my life as well as the four Marin siblings lives.  For the next six months, I began a period introspection, self analysis of whether I could live with this HUGE UNCERTAINTY in my life and whether John and my love was strong enough to bear it.  

Sign up for my blog via email and I’ll send you the 1st Chapter of my book.  https://theresecrutchermarin.com/

We Can Never Lose HOPE…….

Author Therese Crutcher-Marin Book Signing in Auburn CA

Therese at the 2018 HDSA Annual Convention in LA.

Therese selling books at the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival in Okemah OK in July 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

100% of the profit from Watching Their Dance is being donated to the nonprofit, Huntington’s Disease Society of America.  To date, I’ve gifted approximately $15,000.00.

 

 

 

 

 

About Author

“Watching Their Dance” Took 2nd Place on TaleFlick.com

Thank you to everyone who voted last week for Watching Their Dance, a memoir and a love story, to have a shot at being made into a MOVIE. It was the 1st round of competition.

I subscribe to a website, TaleFlick http://TaleFlick.com  created by Hollywood producers, where my book is looked at by those who Make MOVIES.

The book came in 2nd place which is not too disappointing to me. It was out of 40 books. I was happy to be selected for the contest & it gave awareness to Huntington’s disease.

The book can be purchased here on my website, a hard book or an epub file. Shipping is free  https://theresecrutchermarin.com/purchase-book/

It’s also available on Amazon around the world.  amazon.com/Watching-Their-Dance-Marrying-Huntingtons   Amazon.com/author/theresecrutchermarin

It can be found on many other book websites, like B&N, and available in Kindle, Nook, Kobo, ibooks. .barnesandnoble.com/w/watching-their-dance-therese-marie-crutcher-marin/1126082854

Author Therese Crutcher-Marin

100% of the profits from Watching Their Dance is being donated to the nonprofit, Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA).  To date, I’ve donated $15,000.00 to HDSA, the profits since I published.

Please read the wonderful Reviews I received on the book.  Every author hopes to receive the positive reviews by trusted organizations; KIRKUS Reviews, Goodreads, Book Life:  https://theresecrutchermarin.com/goodreads-review/

We Can Never Lose HOPE…

 

 

About Author

The Summer of 1968

Grandmother, Chris Crutcher

As the summer heat and long days fade into the colors of Fall, which is my favorite time of year, I find myself reminiscing of summers gone by; particularly the summer of 1968.  

This was my last summer in Shawnee Mission Kansas, where I grew up with grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins close by, and it was as the beginning of a change I never imagined.  When the summer of 1968 ended, I was coming of age and it was the last time I thought and acted like a kid.  What-does-coming-of-age-mean

Crutcher Family 1966

In May 1969, my family moved to Riverside California and a new social culture was cast upon us. Gone were the carefree days of walking to the swimming pool with my sisters and neighborhood kids, catching fireflies at dusk, making up games, playing outside until my father stood on the back porch and whistled for us to return home and itching the chigger bites until they turned red.  

This is not an unusual story, we all become teenagers, priorities change and drama enters lives.  At age 13, in sunny California, I still went to the swimming pool with my girlfriends, but it was to get a tan, not get my hair wet and gossip.

I’m a Huntington’s disease advocate having lost my three (3) sisters-in-law to this horrific disease.  A group of HD advocates have formed a team to become a HDSA San Francisco Bay Area “Affiliate” to serve the HD community of 7.1 million.  The San Francisco Bay Area deserves to have a HDSA Chapter which we will hopefully become over the next couple of years.  What is Huntington’s disease

The nonfiction book, Watching Their Dance is available on many book websites and $7.00 is donated to HDSA every time the book is purchased.  https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B06ZY85776

We Can Never Lose Hope…….

 

About Author, Mindful

Tomorrow Is Not Promised To Anyone

The other day, a gal said to me, “Your family does so much; you travel a lot, your kids do marathons, triathlons, you give time to the the Huntington’s disease cause, the homeless, you write books.”  She looked at me quizzically, “Why do you do so much?”

I looked at her curiously, thinking it was a funny question because this is how we have always lived our lives.  We taught our children to work hard and play hard and I remember saying to them over the years, “Life is short, enjoy it, experience it; tomorrow is not promised to anyone; we never know what the future will bring, take a chance, have no regrets, learn from your mistakes”.

When Huntington’s disease (HD) entered our lives, it taught me many things and one was to appreciate the life I had with John and the kids every single day.  We didn’t know, until 2016, whether John inherited the mutated huntingtin gene, so we embraced life with the kids and had as much fun as possible together.

We Can Never Lose HOPE………

Read the first Chapter of Watching Their Dance by clicking on link: WatchingTheirDanceFirstchapter1

Author Therese Crutcher-Marin Book Signing in Auburn CA

Take a look at my Amazon Author Page http://amazon.com/author/theresecrutchermarin

My author website where you can also purchase my book is https://www.theresecrutchermarin.com

About Author

More About Crossroads

Crossroads symbolize an important decision that is unavoidable. The choice to continue the same way, which would be a straight path, no longer exists. Now the road divides into at least two paths. The traveler must choose one or remain stuck in place. psychologytoday.com-ways-get-yourself-unstuck

In my last blog, I wrote about the great pause, the crossroad, that I was confronted with; be with the love of my life, John Marin, or walk away forever.  Living with an unknown gene status for Huntington’s disease (HD) petrified me and I questioned whether I had the strength and a love strong enough to live a life of uncertainty.  what-is-huntingtons-disease

I go stuck stuck, I felt tied up, for seven (7) months, difficult months with a broken heart.  I felt guilty turning away from John, because he MIGHT have Huntington’s disease.  But I was scared.

 

In the end, I took a leap of faith to be with John and even though his three (3) sisters died from Huntington’s disease, I have never regretted my decision.

We Can Never Lose HOPE….

Therese’s author website: https://www.theresecrutchermarin.com

HDSA 2019 Convention

About Author

A Crossroad at Age 22

The nonfiction book I published, Watching Their Dance: Three Sisters, a Genetic Disease and Marrying into a Family At Risk for Huntington’s, begins with the following words:

Some lives seem to move smoothly along a natural continuum, with one event or decision seeming to slide into the next.  Such people seem to have faced no dramatic forks in the road, had few life-altering choices to make.  Other lives, at least in hindsight, travel in a particular direction at one particular life-changing moment.  That’s what happened to me, when, at age twenty-two, I suddenly had to confront the most complicated decision of my life.”

Never before had I been confronted with such a huge crossroad that caused a dramatic pause. That pause, lasting for seven heartbreaking, confusing months, was whether to continue my relationship with the love of my life, John Marin, who had a 50/50 chance of inheriting Huntington’s disease (HD).  HD is a rare, fatal, genetic brain disorder with NO CURE and it affects children and adults.  To read more about HD, click here

Having grown up in the Midwest, with 1950’s over protective parents who’s only expectation of their four (4) daughters was to marry and have kids, I lacked life experiences with death and genetic diseases.

Watching the Dance Huntingtons DiseaseBy purchasing my book, you will be helping in the fight against HD because 100% of the profits from the book is being donated to the nonprofit, Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA).  It can be found on many book websites like amazon.com/Watching-Their-Dance-Marrying-Huntingtons/dp/0998442208:

or on my Author Website:  https://theresecrutchermarin.com/purchase-book/

Therese at the 2018 HDSA Annual Convention in LA.

We Can Never Lose HOPE…………..