Watching Their Dance: Three Sisters, a Genetic Disease and Marrying into a Family At Risk For Huntington's

Book Cover


1980s & '90s

Therese Crutcher-Marin

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Therese takes the biggest gamble of her life and marries John, who has a 50/50 chance of inheriting an incurable brain disorder, Huntington's disease. Over a period of 38 years, their life is filled with unpredictability, touch choices, and pain, and great happiness.



Short Summary

Therese and John, college sweethearts, are graduating and marrying until an uncertainty enters their lives that Therese is unsure if she can live with. Therese plans and prepares for all things, must make the hardest decision of life.

In 2008, John's third sister dies from Huntington's disease. In 2016, John is genetically tested and is negative. Therese comes to realize that the path she willingly chose opened her heart to love more deeply; that acknowledging her world could change overnight has made her life richer.


Northern California U.S.A.

Based on a True Story


Plot - Premise

Internal Journey/Rebirth

Plot - Other Elements

Meaningful Message

Mature Audience Themes

Information not completed

Main Character Details

Name: Therese Crutcher-Marin

Age: 32

Gender: Female

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Romantic, Skillful, Strong Moral Code, Aspiring, Educated, Leader, Gracious, Honorable, Perseverance, Selfless, Empathetic, Engaging, Faithful,Empathetic,Educated,Faithful,Leader,Skillful

Additional Character Details

Name: Loralee (Marin) Harbin

Age: 37

Gender: Female

Role: Emotional

Key Traits: Engaging, Gracious, Secretive, Selfless, Beautiful, Empathetic,Empathetic,Selfless

Additional Character Details

Name: John Anthony Marin

Age: 34

Gender: Male

Role: logical

Key Traits: Confident, Educated, Empathetic, Faithful, Perseverance, Romantic, Selfless, Strong Moral Code,Heartthrob,Educated,Selfless,Romantic,Visionary,Skillful

Additional Character Details

Name: Marcia Louise Marin

Age: 35

Gender: Female

Role: logical

Key Traits: Aspiring, Beautiful, Complex, Gracious, Heroic, Modest, Selfless,Gracious,Heroic,Clumsy

Development Pitch

Forty years ago, my college sweetheart and his three sisters discovered why their mother had been placed in Napa State Mental Hospital for all of their childhood; Phyllis had Huntington's disease. I struggled with John's unknown gene status, the uncertainty we would live with, and broke off the relationship. Fortunately, I had an epiphany which returned me to him. I took the biggest gamble of my life and married the love of my life knowing the possible consequences of my decision. Living at risk was stressful, especially when his oldest sister, Lora, began showing symptoms; two years later his second sister, Marcia, exhibited twitches and five years later his third sister, Cindy, tested positive. After Lora died in 1989, I returned to school and completed a M.S. in Healthcare Administration, changed careers and entered the healthcare workforce in hospice care. John and I clung to each other and our love got us through the tough times. For 24 years, John and I traveled the HD journey with his sisters as they battled this insidious disease. In 2010, after John's three sisters had died, we both were stuck in complicated grief, searching for ways to heal. I survived for 38 years by incorporating mindfulness, hope and forgiveness into my daily life allowing me to live each day fully with this huge uncertainty. Writing my story allowed me to heal.

About The Author

Therese Crutcher-Marin is a retired healthcare professional who finds joy in writing. Watching Their Dance is her inaugural book and 100% of the profits from the book is being donated to the nonprofit, Huntington's Disease Society of America. Therese is currently writing a historical fiction novel set in the early 1900's in the breadbasket state of Kansas.

Target Audiences

Age: 55+,35-54,18-34

Target Gender: Universal

Group Specific

The Huntington's disease, ALS, Alzheimers, and Parkinson's communities around the world.

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: self-published

Publisher: Self-published

Year Published: 2017

Hard Copy Available