EAST GRAND FORKS, Minn. — For 50 long years, Huntington's disease has followed Terry Fore around. It began with her first date with her first husband, Darrell, who died from the disease in 2007. "We got married when I was 18; when he was 37, he started to show symptoms," she recalls. His father, Orville, also suffered from Huntington's, an inherited condition causing the breakdown of nerve cells in the brain.
When Peter Mehl checked his blood pressure shortly after arriving in the Ukraine on May 11, something seemed off. "He had me take mine, because he wasn't sure it was reading right," recounts his wife, Jill, co-founder of Russian Harvest Ministries, a Christian outreach the local couple founded 25 years ago. It would be their last conversation. Just as Jill turned away to check her own blood pressure, Peter stood up, and collapsed. An autopsy showed the 61-year-old died instantly.