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.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

June 27, 2006 "Praise the Lord, O my soul."

"Praise the Lord, O my soul. I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live...Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God, the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them - the Lord, who remains faithful forever." Psalm 146:1-2; 5-6

We marvel at God's faithfulness. He is and always will be here for us. Please know the God of Jacob, the same God that we serve and worship this very day. Our hearts still choose to say...blessed be the name of our Lord.

Today turned out to be a blessed day. Whitney got a good nights sleep with Colleen sleeping in the room as well. I think knowing she is there puts Whitney's mind at ease and puts her at peace. The power of a mother's love! She headed into her therapy with great energy and purpose. In her physical therapy she accomplished a feat of sorts. She walked using the walker...and she walked... and she walked. She hopped for more than 250'. That is truly amazing when you realize that she began to learn how to do this just last week. Her arms and shoulders are getting stronger and her balance is quite excellent. It is what she needs to do so that she no longer has to receive those shots in her belly. If she can continue to do this for a few days in a row she will succeed.

She did go to the doctor's today. This was to check on her leg and see if she could begin to walk on it with all her weight. Good news is that her leg is healing properly...the bone is straight and the joint is perfect. The only set back is that she has to keep off the leg for 4 more weeks. (So the necklaces have to stay on for while more, VanRyns, sorry.) Whitney was somewhat disappointed but is in good spirits in spite of the situation. She is now wearing a removable boot which makes it possible to shower and to work her ankle.

Some good news in addition that has kept her spirits up is that she found out today that she has offically completed her freshman year at TU. We are praising God for that bit of news and Whitney was excited to hear. Carly was a welcomed sight for Whit this evening, it is amazing how sisterly love can help to make each of them stronger.

God keeps amazing us with His faithfulness. We are thankful beyond words.

In Christ alone, Whit's dad


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your story has turned out to be quite an inspiration to a lot of people !! May God continue to BLESS
you all !

7:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We continue to praise God for this miracle! I remember the day of the accident, receiving numerous phone calls from my daughter's college friends. We looked at the pictures of the students that perished in the accident and cried together. I clearly remember saying, "what beautiful girls - and look at that beautiful blonde, so young." We prayed and prayed for each family. Then I'll also never forget the blog where the VanRyn's had to share what was their horrible news, yet an amazing miracle for the family of the beautiful blonde! It has all been so strange, so hard to believe, so incredible that it ever happened, that no one ever noticed the mix-up. Yet, God has been by the side of both families. Thank you Ceraks and VanRyns for displaying incredible faith in the midst of such tragedy! We marvel at your faith, we put our eyes on Jesus!!
God bless you all!!!

7:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone have the last post the Vanryns made on lauravanryn.blogspot.com saved somehow? That would be great! THANKS:)

7:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For the person inquiring about the Laura VanRyn posts, you can find them now at http://laurajvr.blogspot.com/

8:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so glad Whitney is doing so much better. And glad to hear she officially completed her freshman year at Taylor. Hopefully we'll see her some this coming year as well. I'm praying for all of you.

8:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I continue to be amazed at this whole thing. To think that God could continue to get such glory! It is just so wonderful to read your "scripture for the day" and your thoughts and the update on Whitney. Thank you.
I hope this is not out of place to ask, but does anyone know if Lisa VanRyn is writing on a blog page? I know they are still grieving, but we care so much about them. They are still very much in our prayers...as we pray for Whitney, we pray for Laura's family.
May God continue to bless you, encourage you, strengthen you and heal you.

8:39 PM  
Blogger Karoline said...

Cerak Family-
I am a friend of Whitney's from Taylor.It's so wonderful to read about her progress every day. God is so faithful! I'm out at focus on the Family this summer, and i just wanted to let you know that an article was just published in a magazine here about the accident and mix-up, and the great things God has been doing in the midst of such pain. If you want to read it you can go to: http://www.family.org/
Scroll down the page and it's under the college section.

Hundreds of people out here are praying for you all!

8:56 PM  
Anonymous kat mckeon said...

Congratulations to Whitney for finishing her freshman year! Ceraks, thank you so much for these updates...they are a constant source of comfort and peace. I miss and pray for Whit constantly - she's making remarkable progress and we're all so proud of her!

9:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just returned to Gaylord from a family reunion in Louisiana and on our drive down and back, we traveled past the scene of this horible accident.It reminded me of those five who lost their lives and are now at home with God, leaving behind so many loved ones!! My prayers tonight are for those families, that God will hold them in His arms and give them great comfort. Whit, I hope you have a great day tomorrow and continue to heal. CYH( consider yourself hugged)

9:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just wanted to tell you that your story, your strength, and love in Christ is touching more lives than you could ever imagine. I have been following along with you from the beginning; even saved and printed Laura's blog to share with others.

I cannot help but share this story and converse with others as I just marvel at your strength. I wanted my Dad to read the blog I printed about Laura and at first he said "no" because he does not like to read anything negative. He felt his heart would hurt too badly for her family and he did not want to educate himself anymore than I already had shared. I encourged him... telling him that as sad as this story is... there is so very much to learn through the strength of the VanRyn family, along with the Cerak's. After he finished reading about Laura... he continued to catch up on Whitney and continues to ask me (as he is not online) to update him to this day.

We share with you (my whole family and I) born again salvation. It is still mind blowing when (even as a christian) trying to understand what your families are going through.

My boy's who are 7 and 8 years old are walking around telling their little friends about this story and wittnessing as they share your strength and love of God. They too are following Whitney in her recovery daily.

We never know why God does some of the things he choses to do in our lives. We all seem to question and wonder "why" things happen as they do. Even the closest of Christians have this battle. Even someone as detatched as me... to you... seem to question and wonder why.

I think this situation is as clear as clear can get. God has used these young lives to bring people closer to him. Out of everyone in this world he could have chosen to take... he chose to take these young christain souls home... for a reason.

They did not pass in vain. Whitney was not spared by chance. This is God's work. Our young people need to be saved! This situation... this story... this tragidy and triumph belongs to them!

This message speaks to us all... but what a powerful message to our young? You can be saved and still have fun! Beauty, brains, popularity and Christ do go together after all!!!

Praying for not only Whitney, but all families who are involved. Speaking for my family and dearest friends. Our thoughts are with all of you daily.

Love from Chicago.


10:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This story has turned my life around. I believe in God more everyday. Thank you for letting me view the updates.

10:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In your latest post, I didn't understand the comment to the VanRyns in regards to necklaces - if its not too intrusive, could you please explain?

10:31 PM  
Anonymous Blake said...

i'm SO glad whitney's officially completed her freshman year at tu! i had been wondering about that... but now i'm thrilled to hear the good news!

ceraks, i am praying for you guys... every day. and whitney, i can't wait to see your beautiful face back on campus! what a miracle!

10:36 PM  
Anonymous Madeleine said...

I'm so glad that Whitney finished her freshman year!! I go to another Christian college and I just finished my freshman year, so I know what an accomplishment that is and how great it feels! Praise the Lord! Congrats to Whitney! I'm glad that she is progressing so well!

11:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

please let her know that people she has no idea of are praying for her, jason capossere, us navy:)

1:45 AM  
Blogger Al B. said...

Newell, Colleen, Carley, Sandra and WHITNEY,

I noticed quite a few people did not get to see the entire blog back from when Lisa VanRyn began it. I fortunately saved all of it so if anyone would like to see the entire combined blogs just go to: http://whitneysstory.blogspot.com/
(or just click on my name on the top of this comment)

That is everything from May 4, 2006 thru June 27, 2006.

Hope this is helpful to those who began following this story later.

Whit, 250 feet!!!! GREAT JOB!! Keep up the good work and as always, all of you are in my thoughts and prayers.

AL B (Pittsburgh, PA)

3:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for faithfully updating us on Whitney and your family. Our daughter is a good friend of Whitney's from Taylor. I was so happy to hear that she has officially completed her freshman year. Please know that we are praying for all of you and will continue to do so. Blessings to you! What a mighty God we serve!

5:59 AM  
Blogger In Progress said...

CONGRATULATIONS ON FINISHING YOUR FIRST YEAR OF COLLEGE WHITNEY!!! It's going to go by so fast. Enjoy every minute of it when you get back! Sounds like you won't miss much if any of next year. Keep your eyes on Jesus!

7:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep up the great work, Whitney. I continue to pray for you, your family, and the TU family. It is such a wonderful thing to start my day off with the scriptures this family posts. You all continue to inspire me. It is so easy to strengthen my relationship with God while observing the faithfullness of you all.
I'll continue to send up my prayers from Louisiana.

7:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations on finishing your Freshman year Whitney! You are such an amazing woman and God is definitely working through you. You have brought so much inspiration to everyone. I am so proud of your accomplishments, and although you still have to have the walking brace...you have GREAT spirits!

I am continuing to pray for you hun! You have inspired many of my friends down here in North Carolina. I wish I could be there to give you a hug and say Congratulations in person! You are so wonderful :) GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY!

8:05 AM  
Anonymous TU grad '92 said...


CONGRATULATIONS on fininshing your Freshman year at TU! What an accomplishment and what wonderful news to get! I am inspired by your strength and your ambition as you heal! God bless you and your family!

8:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just want to let you know another Taylor grad is keeping you all in his prayers.
What a great cloud of witnesses we have!

8:23 AM  
Anonymous Susan LaGassa, San Jose said...

Praise God for answered prayers and mended bones!
Keep working Whitney, you'll be back on that court in no time!

8:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also did not understand the necklace/VanRyn reference.
I pray you have a great day today and God contiues to strengthen and heal you.

8:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Keep up the good progress!!!

You are an inspiration to me, your determination to push on, even when VERY difficult situations come your way! Your amazing character has shown up through all this! - you INSPIRE me! Thank you!

Keep going! ! ! ! !!!!

~Mark 10:27~

8:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so excited to hear about Whitney's progress recently. It really reminds me of the awesome faithfulness and timing of God. While there is a long way to go, God sure is helping Whitney progress steadily! PTL!!!!

I continue to hold you all in my thoughts and prayers!



9:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whit and family,
I praise God everyday for the great accomplishments that He has helped you to overcome. What the devil tried to make bad, God has made His message heard. Keep up the great work, and know soon you will all be praising God more when you walk into your home. You and your family have sent a message that no one else could send for Jesus. VanRyn's, Smith's, Lawson's, Erb's, Felver's and Taylor staff and dining commons staff, you are still being held up in prayer. We do not understand the why's here on earth, but as the song goes, Thank you for giving to the Lord. That day in heaven we all will see the results of that tragic day in April. May God continue to bless you.

9:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 9:45 a.m.

I was just getting ready to say the same thing! I am SO thrilled to hear of Whitney's progress, but I also want the other families to know that I am lifting them up in prayer to the Lord. For some reason, the mothers of those students and Monica's children have been especially heavy on my heart these past few days. I pray that the Lord will comfort them.

Anonymous in Chicago

10:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too feel a heavy heart for all of the families that lost their loved ones on April 26th...such saddness and emptiness for all.

The updates of Whit are remarkable and it brightens my day to read the scripture...thanks so much.

Please can someone explain about the neaklace and the VanRyn's...

11:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Whit's Mom, what a blessing you are...as a mother and a grandmother I do know the love and sense of need to be there for your child...God gave Mothers a special sense of love and compassion...and our children benefit from it.

I hope one day we will see pictures of all of you and perhaps some of Whit while she is recovering.

Much love from a mom in mt zion....

1:26 PM  
Blogger Whitney said...

hey cerak family,
i just wanted to let you know that i've been praying for you since the accident. i played soccer at TU with carly for 2 years. i'm so glad to hear that whitney is doing so well. you all will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.
whitney zimmerman

6:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Karoline, Can you please give an acutal url where we can find that article, I may be the only one, but I don't see anything on the website about it, and I went under the college section too.


6:43 PM  
Anonymous emily said...

Wow!! That's all the words I have right now. I just read rhe entire combined blog, thanks to the link provided by someone on this site. Thanks! I began to follow the story when the mistaken identity became apparent. I wasn't fully aware of all Whitney has been through! I praise God for the great care the VanRyn's provided for her! I hope our paths will cross at some point if it is in God's plan! You are a true inspiration and Whitney, I am more proud of you each day. More than 250'!! You go girl!!

--Emily, Kent OH

7:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

for those looking for the focus on the family article, it is under the "boundless" publication. the url is:


8:19 PM  
Blogger Karoline said...

It's the second or third article on the list...

9:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

which bible translation are you using? so beautiful.
thanks and we continue to pound the heavens with prayer..

11:45 AM  

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