Whitney Cerak

We, the Cerak family, are elated beyond description at Whitney’s return home. It is so much more than we ever imagined three months ago.We would like to restate our plans of not speaking to the media. There is still much on the road to Whitney’s full recovery. We want to thank the media for the respect they have shown of our privacy in this time. And ask that the same courtesy given us would be extended to our family and friends.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

June 22, 2006

“I lift up my eyes to the hills- where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip- he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord watches over you- the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm- he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” Psalms 121

I have had a great day watching Whitney. I have enjoyed ever minute of it. Watching her gives me such joy. Watching as she shot baskets in therapy brought back memories of many evenings watching her play sports growing up. Watching her hop on her foot in therapy brought back memories of her learning to walk. Watching her play brain games on the computer in speech therapy reminded me of playing “memory” and games growing up. She had great therapy time and I loved sitting back with Newell and watching.

Whitney had a doctor’s appointment for the staff infection in her leg and thank you for your prayers because it is able to be treated by oral medication.

Whitney also had friends visiting her today and it was fun watching them talk and laugh and hang out like girls do best.

It’s been a quiet night. Newell and Whitney have been playing brain games, I’m not sure whose winning, but they are having fun and again I am having fun watching.

At the end of today I thought about God watching me his daughter and wondering if he had as much fun watching me as I did Whitney. Did my actions make him proud the way I was so proud of Whitney? I am so thankful for the unconditional love God has for me. “Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.” Psalms 145:3. Don’t forget God is watching over you too.

With love,
Whitney’s mom


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love you whitney's mom.

8:24 PM  
Blogger FightingFemale said...

You are beautiful!

8:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. Just keep on encouraging Whitney in all of the progress she has made and is making. She is so fortunate to have parents such as yourself to sit by her and support her in this long road ahead. Thank you for the encouragement you are to those who continually check in on you and Whitney, you have been a tremendous witness for Christ in the often dark world we live in!
Praise the Lord!
Misty in Huntington IN

8:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a wonderful wonderful family I get to check in and read about everyday. You all are so very blessed!!

8:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, yes I am amazed by all the support and encouragement that you are giving whitney! keep encouraging her to keep pressing on towards the goal...at the end there will be an ultimate prize!!!!
love and prayers
Savannah CO

9:20 PM  
Blogger Amos said...

I live in Oklahoma and was up in Michigan in May at Spectrum for the birth of my friends baby. She told me about the story of both girls and the more I read, the more I am encouraged by both your family and Laura's. I don't know Whitney or Laura but just the things I have read make me feel like I am a part of the family and grieve and rejoice with you all. I honestly don't know how someone who didn't know Jesus would make it through all of this. He is truly our strength and source of help. I read a story about Laura's boyfriend questioning for a time, but he said that he had to turn back to the truth. This whole situation is truly a testimony to all the world about Jesus. It has made me weep, but then also encouraged me to press on toward the mark, and find that love for Jesus even more. Thank you for sharing online. There will be many more that will come to know the Lord as a result. I can't wait someday to meet you all in glory, what a wonderful time it will be! Press on Whitney!!!

9:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

is there any way you could transfer the posts from her previous "web page" I am praying continuosly for Whit. I would really enjoy reading the other posts that you wrote before june

9:40 PM  
Anonymous A Mom in Wyoming, MI said...

I read your updates everyday and find myself encouraged to strengthen my relationship with Christ...
I have cried so many tears over all of this... tears of sadness while watching Lauras' memorial video when her brother called her Waura...Yet there were some tears of happieness for her knowing she is safe in the arms of our heavenly father right now...
There have been many tears of happiness for your family for the gift you recieved of having your precious daughter back again... I cry everytime I read your posts because It always reminds me of how much Gold loves each one of us... Thank you for writing about Whitney & her recovery.. reading your posts everyday has brought me closer to God..I see through Whitneys recovery how Awesome our God really is. I really believe that She is here to help bring people closer to Christ..Even through all the mix-up with Whitney & Laura, God has turned this into something good... the media attention your story recieved has effected thousands of people...I wonder how many people came to know Christ thru all of this? What a ministry Whitney will have with her story.
Your family inspires me... Thank You!
P.S. I am glad to hear she continues to get stronger and will continue to pray for the healing of the infection.

10:07 PM  
Anonymous carol m said...

Colleen, That was special...I love you and pray with you, CM

10:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have read each entry from day 1, I relate to your story because my husband was in a car accident in August of last year, and we almost lost him, and he almost lost his ability to walk, and I was also there each day, and I can't begin to tell you how much I feel for your family and the other families as well, Its a hard road ahead, but with god all things are possible, and I will continue to pray for you each and every day! Get well soon Whitney! In my prayers always!

10:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

okay, THIS makes me cry. thank you.

11:20 PM  
Anonymous Sue-Bee!! said...

I love you Colleeeeeeennneeeee......miss you! You are so amazing and what an inspiration to me! I am so blessed to have you as a friend! Go Whit!

2:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All I can say is "WOW"!! What an amazing young girl and family! Whitney keep your head high and maintain that drive and determination you have. Hang in there!! Love and Hope out of Gas City IN

2:26 AM  
Blogger Darcy Keith said...

Newell and Colleen,

God is good, and you are doing the RIGHT things. Keep Whitney's brain engaged in activity...keep those brain connections active. If the therapists haven't mentioned it yet or she is not ready, have her keep a "memory" book to journal her day, who visited her, what she ate & talked about, what she did in therapy, etc, when it is time. Then, ask her on the following day what she did the day before. This worked for me and helped me recover the use of my short term memory.

Thank you for your witness to the Lord's grace and goodness!
Praying for your family each day,
Darcy Keith

3:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We love you CERAKS. You all are wonderful people. You inspire us all. Please keep pressing forward. The love of our lord is holding your hand and pressing on with you.

4:07 AM  
Anonymous jeanette hoeksema said...

Newell, Colleen, Carly, Sandra, and Whitney,

Praise God about the news re: the infection. Yay! We've been praying. Good luck to Newell in the brain games :). Colleen, you crack me up.

Love you guys.

4:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am proud to say that I am a "student" of the Cerek Family. Your daily Bible devotions and how they relate to your current circumstances are an inspiration to me. You teach me daily how to rely on God, and how to appropriately react to situations that I am faced with. I am a beliver, and now find my faith growing each day as I see how you all handle this situation with the grace of God. Colleen, I love your analogy of you watching your daughter, and our Heavenly Father watching us. There is NO question, our Father IS proud of you, all of you. Thank you for your testimony. Continued prayers of healing are lifted up for you and all of the families affected.
You have been blessed INDEED, and your territory has been ENLARGED!

5:01 AM  
Blogger lovablenina said...

I read this blog everyday and it has helped encourage me in so many ways. I am so glad for you that the infection is treatable w/o surgery again. Whitney has done awesome with her recovery. Just hold your heads up high an allow God to guide you thru this rough road in life.

With Love & Prayers
Kristina from Noblesville, In

5:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Colleen, You are so strong. Your family is awesome. Whit is so lucky to have such great parents, an incredible sister, and friends. Thanks for writing. Missing you in Gaylord.

5:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am an alum of Anderson University and my sister's fiance just graduated from Taylor. I have been reading your blogs and am inspired by your faith, love and trust in the Lord. As a Christian, you are an example to all. I am glad that Whitney is getting better.

5:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whitney's progress is awesome. We will continue to pray for all of you. It will be a great day when she is back in Gaylord

5:49 AM  
Blogger Renee Pray said...

So glad to hear the infection can be treated orally. I love reading God's word with you in your posts, it does my heart and soul good to stop during a busy day and reflect--I thank you for that. Keep up the good work Whit, we are praying for you and your family, as well as the other families. Corrie so misses you and wish she could come visit. Please know you are an important person in her life and as soon as she can she will visit. God bless! Renee Pray

5:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey Ceraks

cammy and i are glad to hear the results on whit everyday. it makes me cry then it makes me laugh i wouldn't have it any other way. we all love you and miss you guys. one more month and there will be another one running around the house, yes yes that makes three.

love you guys,
walt,cammy,kole,jackson,and baby

5:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign Lord. I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak." Ezekiel 34:15-16
Your family is such a testimony of this verse: God is using your obedience, faith and trust to grow His kingdom, you all living out loud your faith is bring home the lost and the strays. He continues to heal and restore Whitney and in that grow my faith and trust as well as many others. Thank you again for letting us into your world.

6:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You guys don't know me at all, but I stumbled across your page when reading about Whitney in an article on the Internet. I am going through a distressing time in my life, having almost lost my twin daughters to a drunk driver...their father. Your posts help remind me that an angel was in the car with them that day and kept them all safe, just as an angel has been with Whitney all this time. Your faith is such an inspiration to me. Your posts make me smile day and I learn something new every day. Thank you for sharing your lives and teaching us each day.
My favorite verses are Phil. 4:13 and Matt. 11: 28-30

6:43 AM  
Anonymous Lisa Herschberger said...

Wow! Keep up the great work, Whitney. So glad to hear the good news about the infection.
Colleen, what you wrote about your pride in watching Whitney was just beautiful - see, you ARE a writer! And I am betting on Carly beating Newell at the brain games! :)
Have another great day. I love you guys - it was so good to see you all.
Lots of love,

6:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Friends - Yes, that's how I feel about my new "friends" in Christ. I don't know you and you don't know me, but in our hearts we do "know" eachother.

This past March we had an awesome youth service. They were pumped for the Lord. The Holy Spirit was truly filling the whole place. It was so beautiful!!!! As an adult leader for the youth, I felt so blessed to witness all of that was happening that night. The worship, praise and prayers were so powerful. It just makes my heart swell when I see these kids and how they love the Lord. Unfortunately, the evening ended tragically. The youth service ended at 10:00pm. We all left the church. At 11:30pm, I was awakened by the infamous "call in the middle of the night". There had been a tragic car accident involving 4 of our youth boys. One boy died at the scene, 2 boys had minor injuries and the other boy was in critical condition. First I thanked God for protecting my 13yr old daughter from being in that vehicle, because she originally was going to got with them. Then I got on my knees and prayed for the other 3 boys. I had prayed earlier in the evening during the service, for about 45 minutes, with the boy that was NOW in critical condition. I still remember the 4 boys leaving the parking lot, smiles on their faces, waving at me and saying goodnight. The 2 boys with minor injuries left the hospital the next day. But the 1 boy was in the hospital for about 2 weeks. At first the drs. didn't think could saved his kidneys which were damaged. But we know how miraculous our Father God is. This boy is now healthy again and drs. say is it a miracle. But of course we know the great Physician is a great Healer to those who love and trust in HIM!!!!

Recently, another one of our youth boys was under attack. He made some wrong choices. Ended up in the hospital and he almost died. Again, we prayed and today he's back at church and out on the golf course!!!! These 2 boys have been such an inspiration to the other youth members. These young men (yes, that is what they have become through all their trials) now know that their testimonies must be heard by others in need of finding salvation in Christ.

Whitney, through all that you have been through, it is now clear that you, too, must spread the word of your miracle. Young people everywhere will come to know Christ Jesus through your words of testimony.

Your mom and dad have been a inspiration to me. As a parent it's such an awesome sight to see your child have a love for the Lord. I truly hope that one day our paths will cross.

Colleen, you and your husband are an awesome couple. I just want to meet and hug you!!!! Thank you for sharing with us the love you have for your daughter, but most of all for showing your love for Our Father God and His Son Christ Jesus. I hope that others will be inspired by your journal. It is truly a gift. Be Blessed!!!

North Port, Florida

7:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whitney's Mom,

What a Mom you are. Thank you for sharing your joy of watching your daughter. It sounds like she is doing wonderful. What a blessing. Praise God! Also, you write wonderful blogs! At some point it might be nice to make your blogs into a book and have the profits go to support brain injury/rehab programs.

7:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, my...just when you think it doesn't get any better, it does. The first comment on this was "I love you, Whitney's mom"...I just say amen and amen! I guess all of us moms out here in blog-land so identify with the mother's heart. Yall are simply amazing. Thank you for allowing those of us who "know you not" to walk this path with you. We are all better people...our lives have been changed also...we know Jesus better and some know Him for the first time because of you. How wonderful and marvelous is HE!!! God bless.

7:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Way to go Whitney!

Does Whitney realize all the people that her story has touched and do you read the blog comments to her?

Keep getting better!!!!

NJ Prays for you Whitney

8:16 AM  
Blogger Jan said...

This whole incident, from the beginning until now has helped my faith. Now we just found out that our 25yr old daughter-in-law has Stage 4 cancer. I have been so blessed and encouraged by reading your blog daily, that I have more faith going through this trial.

9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is nothing like a mother's love -- except God's.

Thank you, Colleen. Moms everywhere have lumps in their throats and smiles on their faces as we watch Whitney through you.

Keep posting.

10:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I needed that scripture more than you know.

11:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As I read your blog I am reminded of a friend of mine who lost his legs due to an accident that wasn't his fault. His blog is very uplifting. The courage that God gives youth today to help them through the rough times is truly amazing and very spiritual. Just reminds me that no matter what age you are God is truly, truly watching over each and everyone of us. Whitney, your story has touched my heart in so many ways. Your family's love for you is what a family is all about. Keep the faith and keep your attitude. Good luck and I'll be reading your story till you are healthy again and beyond. Remember there are only 1 set of footprints in the sand.
Thoughts and prayers from Indianapolis

12:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so deeply moved by your story & your faith in God. I did not have that kind of a religious back ground growing up. But I am so deeply touched by your faith that it makes me want to come to to know our heavenly father better. Thank You so much for the posts & I will be praying for you Whitney!!!

12:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whitney's Mom,

You are in Christ and so it is Christ's goodness that recommends you to Him, therefore, He is perfectly pleased with you. Your praise brings glory to our great God. I am blessed to read your blog.

We are praying for continued healing and strengthening for you all.

A sister in Christ

12:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a precious reflection and a great reminder of God's love for His children.

Thanks for sharing your heart. Your family has been and continues to be in my prayers.


1:05 PM  
Anonymous dickandjane said...

We all love you Whitney's Mom. So good to hear from you and we are praying, so hard, for all of you.

1:31 PM  
Anonymous tenille said...

I, as have so many others, found your website through the internet and reading news on a site. I am truly blessed and amazed by your inspirational story. Our God is sooooo big! I am reminded of a song by Casting Crown's~
"Praise You in this Storm"

I was sure by now
God You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say "Amen"
and it's still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God
Who gives and takes away

I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
Every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry You raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can't find You

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God
Who gives and takes away


I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth

May God richly bless you today.

2:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi! Wit, This is Katie Robb Megan's sister I heard that u were doing awesome. Keep it up! we are all praying for u and your family. get home soon.
Katie Robb
P.S. If you haven't heard Megan is in New Zeland for six month she is having a great time so far.

3:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know that we are watching you, Mrs. Cerak and all we can say is Your whole family is a witness to us all of God, the Father and Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit at work. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. We continue to pray for your family, Whitney and all the people, families and Taylor University that were affected by this awful event. God Bless you.

4:08 PM  
Anonymous Dani Brown said...

Reading your updates is the highlight of my day! We are praying for Whitney's continued recovery and for healing of the infection. We are praising God for all the ways he has already brought healing to Whitney's body! Thank you SOOO much for writing the updates. It is so nice to see the way God is working and to have specific things to ask Him for and thank Him for on behalf of Whitney! We are so happy to be able to support part of our heavenly family in prayer. Whit- have a wonderful night of sleep tonight!
-Dani(Jorg)Brown in AZ
(Taylor student'03-'04)

4:11 PM  
Blogger kiwibabe said...

thats New Zealand.. Myself being from there, and totally moved by this story.. Your faith is awesome, and im not even religious, but I come here everyday to follow Whitneys progress..

4:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

today's blog gave me chills and brought tears to my eyes. you are such an inspirational woman, mrs. cerak. thank you. i think you and your family are so wonderful and i appreciate you all taking the time out of your day and life to share and inspire all of us.God Bless You All!

5:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whitney's mom ~ you are the mother that King Solomon spoke about in Proverbs 31. "her children will call her blessed." You have truly been a blessing to me.
You are letting your "light shine" even when the darkness wants to prevail. You and your family has touched many lives.
Thank you very much for the updates and the daily scriptures.
My family will continue to pray for your strength in the coming months. We will also continue to pray for Whitney, the Van Ryns, and the other people affected by the accident.

6:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After 7 years away from full-time work as a speech therapist, I went back to work today. Reading your blog and praying for Whitney made me want to be a better therapist and make the most of my time with my patients. Thanks for the perspective!

7:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful thought from the heart!!! we have to believe that God is looking down and smiling on you and your family. Please give Newell and your girls a big hug for us. We love you !
Tom and Kim Nguyen

7:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah Whitney! You go girl!!!

Keep trying and fighting to get better I will keep you in our family prayers.

This story has so many turns you go from sad to happy to crying to rejoicing to thankful

all of that said what a gift to you and your family I will follow your progress we will keep you inour prayers and maybe some day soon you will be albe to move on in your glorious life

May the lord always be at your side

8:53 PM  
Blogger keke1991 said...

WOW what a great family if I even think of complaining about my day I look at your blog and draw courage and inspiration from Whitney If she can do what she does than I can do waHT i NEED TO DO

to her you stay strong and know that somany people are praying and here for you


8:57 PM  
Anonymous Alysssa said...

I saw the story on a friend's myspace blog, and let me tell you how touching this all has been! I'm pleased for your renewed time with Whitney; my heart goes out to Laura's family.

I love that you are sharing your journey through this blog. I was struck by a car while crossing a 4-lane road & spent a month in the hospital in a similiar therapy program as I recovered from a skull fracture. I am enjoying reading about the experience from a Mom's point of view because it helps me understand what it must have been like for my wonderful Mother.

Best wishes to everyone touched by this situation!

9:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love that Casting Crowns song. In case you didn't know, the Cerak's used that on Whitney's video of her life that was shown at her funeral. They were praising God even during the very darkest time of their life---in the midst of the storm. Their faith and praise has not wavered. God has definitely been with them through it all. What an example and inspiration they are to us all!
Thanks for sharing those lyrics as they fit the situation so well.

10:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So how is Whit today!?! Update for today! I love hearing everyday there is more progress! What hasd Whit accomplished today?!? I love hearing it

10:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of 'memory'...Whit, were you around and do you remember when Mrs. Sanders and I 'stalked' K. Goebel through the basement window at your house one night? Pretty funny. Okay, so not as funny as your fashion show video, but still funny. :) D'you remember your dance partners in PE...no, not Tia! That was DODGEBALL dives, rolls and other distractions. I love you, Whit! Love and thoughts to all, mm

12:35 AM  
Blogger a Mt. Zion Mom said...

To Whitney's Mom...thanks for sharing such precious moments ....all of you are very special to thousands around the world....
I have known and loved Betsy Smith all of her life and I know she is singing praises with our Lord right now...yet her loss is so huge and has left a void none can fill....please remember those who went on to be with the Lord that night .
What a testimony Whit will have ...we are all blessed from the goodness of our God who is 'pulling' her through such a horrific accident.
keep posting ....reading this each day is a part of my devotions.

4:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sweet Colleen,

'Thinking about being with you all at the end of April... Seeing your eyes then was one of the hardest things. A mother without her child...

Last night I began to except that your eyes then can tell us something about God's love. A father without his "beloved son". But He chose this because of us... Who is this God?

I wish I could be with you now and look into your new eyes. But alas... I can only imagine and in that imagining catch a tiny piece of what God's eyes of love are like...

'Praying that we would all come face to face with these eyes of love.


6:05 AM  
Blogger Janice said...

you are all in my thoughts and prayers.
Janice in Decatur, Indiana

6:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for that beautiful picture. I remember when you were my Sunday school teacher back at the Upland EMC!! You haven't changed a bit - always such a sweet spirit! I love reading about Whitney's updates! Thank you.
God bless,
Anne (Oliver) Smith

8:09 AM  
Blogger Pink Eggnog said...

Whitney's Mom,
Thanks for sharing your perspective of God watching over us. As a young mom of a six-year old daughter and an eight-year old son I need the mentorship that "seasoned" moms provide. Even if it is through the internet hundreds of miles apart. I'll be sure to share this entry with my children today.

We are keeping you in our prayers in Texas.

2:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks to the Cerak family for witnessing to us about God's grace . So many of us in central Indiana have you in our thoughts and prayers.
Glenn & Donna
Brownsburg, IN

11:34 AM  

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