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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.

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

My author website where you can also purchase my book is

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.

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:

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

or on my Author Website:

Therese at the 2018 HDSA Annual Convention in LA.

We Can Never Lose HOPE…………..

About Author

Advocating for Huntington’s Heals My Heart

Finding one’s passion in life and being able to act upon it is a great feeling.  Supporting a cause close to one’s heart is very rewarding and support can take many forms; financially donating, volunteering one’s time, and/or participating in fundraising events, etc.

John and I have been connected to the nonprofit, Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA) since 1978 when John and his three sisters discovered Huntington’s Disease (HD) in their family.  Over the years, we made financial contributions, but after HD stole my three sisters-in-law I wanted to be involved with HDSA.  Involvement with HDSA, the HD community and organizing fundraising and outreach efforts, truly HEALS MY HEART.

Get involved today with what’s important to you and what will make you happy.




We Can Never Lose Hope……………………

Therese at the 2018 HDSA Annual Convention in LA.


About Author

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And I’ll email you the first chapter of Watching Their Dance: Three Sisters, a Genetic Disease and Marrying into a Family At Risk for Huntington’s a nonfiction/memoir.  Author Website:   

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Therese’s memoir/nonfiction book, Watching Their Dance: Three Sisters, a Genetic Disease and Marrying into a Family At Risk for Huntington’s, is available on her author website   & on Amazon, B&N, & in Kindle, Kobo, Nook, iBooks format. 

100% of the proceeds from Therese’s book is being donated to the nonprofit, Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA).  As of December 31, 2018, John and Therese have donated $14,115.00 to HDSA.  The book was published in April 2017.

 We Can Never Lose HOPE………..  Therese

About Author, Love

Live, Laugh, Love

Each of us is given but one pass through life.  No retakes.  No repeats. 

So, make a covenant –

To live well.   Be good to yourself, your family and others.   Be big in behavior, not small.  Think mature, not immature.   Take the long view, not shortsighted.   Participate thickly, not thinly.   Consider carefully Abraham Lincoln’s thought that “in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”  

Oscar Wilde

Or roll Oscar Wilde’s thought around during the day:  “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”  Celebrate how great life is.  The world is a beautiful place to be.  Colorful.  Stimulating.  Interesting.

To laugh often.     Laughter cures the soul.  It removes masks.  Humanizes.    Laughter heals many rifts, bridges many gaps.  It builds memories.   Laughter is universal among people.  Laughter makes you live longer.  Laughter makes friends, builds memories. Laughter vanquishes demons and warms your soul.

To love greatly and deeply. Love is the most generous gift given us.  Love makes all else possible.   To love greatly means to love unselfishly, for the sake of others as well as yourself.   To love things beyond yourself, beyond your personal interests. Love gives back two fold. Love improves others.  Love improves the giver.

From Prof. Marty’s Corner

Author Therese Crutcher-Marin
John and Therese

Love is what got John & I through the tough times…………watching Lora, Marcia & Cindy, my three sisters-in-law, struggle with Huntington’s disease.

Therese’s author website:
About Author, Hope

How Huntington’s Disease Enriched My Life

This statement may seem ridiculous given the statement I’ve created for Huntington’s disease (HD); “the cruelest disease on the planet”. I have not changed my mind regarding the statement but HD transformed my way of thinking, in a positive manner, really, without me even knowing it. WhatisHD

After I’d made the decision to marry John, who had an unknown gene status for HD, I realized, in order to not lose my mind with worry, I had to retrain my brain; first, to learn how to live in the moment. how-train-your-brain-think-differently

I learned to embrace what I had right in front of me; John, our love for each other, the life we were building together, and the hopes and dreams we hoped to achieve.

I learned not think too far ahead and what that might mean because nobody has a crystal ball; for my sanity, this moment, this day is what I focused on.

I didn’t learn these things overnight; it took time to transform my way of thinking since I’m a planner, a very detailed planner.  

Like a caterpillar’s transformation into a butterfly, it takes time to relearn how to think. 

We Can Never Lose HOPE……………

About Author


Choice, Chance and Change: The Three C’s of Life.  

When you make a choice, you change the future.

The huge uncertainty I chose to live with, John had an unknown gene status for Huntington’s disease (HD), the cruelest disease on the planet, caused a huge CHANGE in my life. His 50/50 chance of inheriting this rare, fatal, incurable brain disorder that is like having ALS, Parkinson’s and Alzheimers symptoms at the same time taught me to live in the moment, to live mindfully, which enriched my life.

Through the years, my heart opened up to forgive more easily which lead to loving unconditionally. Even with the sadness John and I experienced, my three sisters-in-law died of complications from HD, made me appreciate and be grateful for everything I had in my life.

Therese is the author of the nonfiction, Watching Their Dance, an inspirational love story while living in the shadow of Huntington’s disease. Therese has received four excellent book reviews from Kirkus, Goodreads, BookLife and Stanford University. To read the reviews, go to: 

We Can Never Lose HOPE…….


About Author

Take a Chance

Choice, Chance, and Change: The Three C’s of Life. It’s all up to you. It’s scary or empowering depending on how you look at it.  

When I decided to marry John, and took the chance that he had not inherited the mutated huntingtin gene for the worst disease on the planet, Huntington’s disease (HD), I knew the possible consequences of my decision. It may sound strange, but living at risk for HD changed my life for the better; I began living in the moment, enjoying what I had in front of me.

HD is a rare, fatal, incurable brain disease that is like having ALS, Alzheimers and Parkinson’s symptoms at the same time.

I’ve never regretted taking the chance as it made our love stronger. In 2016, after living at risk for decades, John tested because he felt he owed it to Keith and Vanessa, our children who were getting married. Thank goodness he tested negative. We are very lucky and grateful because he had a 50/50 chance of inheriting the disease like his three sisters, Lora, Marcia and Cindy.

We Can Never Lose HOPE……..

Therese at the 2018 HDSA Annual Convention in LA.

Watching Their Dance: Three Sisters, a Genetic Disease and Marrying into a Family At Risk for Huntington’s is an inspirational love story while living in the shadow of Huntington’s disease. Therese has donated $14,115.00 to the nonprofit, Huntington’s Disease Society of America, which is the profit from the book since publication in April 2017. Author website: