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.

Friday, August 04, 2006

August 3, 2006

“Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.” Psalm 29:2

“Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together. “ Psalm 34:3

“Be exalted oh God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth.” Psalm 57:5

Thursday – Whitney’s day today was an awesome day. After going through her regular schedule in the morning, we had a meeting with her entire team of therapists and neuro psychologist. It is so hard to believe only a little over 3 months have passed since the accident. The time seems to have gone by slowly. We were reminded at the meeting that Whitney’s journey from being diagnosed with a severe brain injury and several broken bones to where she is today is in no way a small miracle. It is a great miracle!! God has been good. The progress in this period of time has been so much more than was expected. Her recreational, speech, physical and occupational therapists all gave glowing reports of Whit’s progress. All were obviously very pleased at how much she improved in the 3 weeks since her last team meeting. Her neuro psychologist was truly impressed saying her recovery to this point has been remarkable at the least. There is still a ways to go but there has been awesome improvement.

The things that are still in need of her concentrated efforts are her neuro endurance and the speed of her processing information. There have been improvements in these areas for which we are thankful. We continue to pray for complete healing for Whitney.

This was all awesome news…much better than we expected. Our thoughts before had been guarded optimism that Whitney might attend Taylor in the fall. We knew without a doubt that she would be there in January. But that guarded optimism turned into more with the report. We were given the pros and cons for both situations of school. Either decision would benefit her but we felt that Taylor would be the place where she would improve the most. Whitney’s face lit up brightly as it became apparent what the decision was. She just said that this was the best day of her life and kept on smiling. We are so happy and excited for her. She will do fine at TU, taking a lighter load of classes and continuing her therapies. The setting of college will also enhance her progress being around her friends and Taylor community.

That this has happened in the timely fashion it has is all due to God’s hands. We are trusting Him, eager for Him to guide our decisions and steps. We do not want to run ahead of God, Whitney is in His care. But we are excited beyond description.

“O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done marvelous things…” Isaiah 25:1

In Christ alone, Whitney’s family


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! God is so good. We can not wait to have her back!

5:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do not know you, nor any involved in the accident..but I do know people at Taylor. Your story has intrigued me....and I have been able to share it with those who do not know our Lord. I feel like I know each of you and pray that perhaps someday we will meet. In the meantime Thank you for being so public throughout this process. I continue to pray for you and the others affected by this tragedy. God' glory has not gone unnoticed. Blessings and prayers....a friend in Christ

6:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A W E S O M E ! ! ! !

6:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

YEAAHHHH WHITNEYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!! SO excited for you guys..I know that Whit will do so good back there, and I'm very proud of the rest of the family for letting her go back. God Bless you all!

6:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whitney, I'm so happy for you!! You go girl!! Hard work always pay's off and you did it.

6:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is wonderful news, truely answers to the prayers of many.God continues to amaze us as he does his work above what we can ask or imagine!! Praise his holy name!
Praying friends of VR's

6:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like many have been keeping an eye on this blog. Congratulations on all of the progress Whitney! How awesome it will be to get back to school!

6:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so excited for Whitney. I know the every summer at this point I could not wait to get back to Taylor to see my friends. I cannot imagine how excited Whitney must be now knowing that she does get to go back this fall. I guarantee you everyone at Taylor will be excited to have her there as well.

7:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh that is so wonderful....my son is going to be a freshman at Taylor this year. I think it will be a huge boost for Whitney and for the rest of the student body to have her at Taylor.

7:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


7:17 AM  
Blogger Marianne said...

Congrats Whitney! We all knew you could do it!

7:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been reading this blog for a couple of months now. I am continuously inspired Whitney by your will to never give up. It is truly an inspiration. Keep up the good work and I will continue to monitor your progress through this blog. Congrats about going back to Taylor!

7:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is fantastic news. I've been praying that Whitney would be able to go back to college this fall. The testimony you guys have is amazing. God is so good. i pray for each of you daily. I've even prayed for Hunter and Taylor. May God continue to bless each one of you!

7:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am weeping tears of joy for Whitney, and for all of you!!! How amazing, and nothing short of miraculous!!! I got goosebumps as a read your post... as I read each sentence I got chills and more chills. How absolutely thrilling and exciting!!!

Prayers continue, of course. :)

Sending love!!!

7:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am SO excited to learn this news!!!!!!!!

A sister in Christ

7:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praise God! Even with formal therapy, the environment on campus will also help Whitney to continue to improve. Her brain will never be without stimulation! Surely God answers prayer.

Give God the honor and praise!

8:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awesome news!! Second only to the love of family is the love shared among the Taylor family. Whitney will be blessed by her time back at Taylor and she will be a blessing to all those around her. She is a true testament to the Lord's faithfulness.

Prayers to you, her parents, as you anticipate this return to Taylor but knowing how hard it will be to "let her go."

8:08 AM  
Anonymous Laura said...

I am so excited and pleased for Whitney! I can only imagine how much she wanted to return to Taylor this fall. As pleased as I am for Whitney, I am also inspired and amazed by her parents. I have a daughter who will be a freshman at college this year and I have all the normal anxiety. For you to be able to give Whitney the strength and love to fly on her own is truly an inspiration. You are amazing people. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

8:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Ceraks,

When we walk with the Lord in the light of his word what a glory He sheds on our way. While we do His good will, He abides with us still and with all who will trust and obey.
What a marvelous God we serve! the news you have been sharing the last few days about Whitney has been incredibly wonderful and such an answer to prayer. May the Lord bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you ....
Praying and cheering for you all,
Keep looking up!
Jim & Edna

8:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, I am very happy for you Whitney. Keep up the good work :-)

8:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, I very happy for you. Keep up the good work! ;-)

8:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

woohoo! congrats whit! i just feel like leapin for joy for you all. i can't imagine how that must feel... now i will begin praying for mom and dad who have been able to be with whitney so much over the past few months... i am sure it will be a transition for all of you to once again "let her go" off to college after all you have been through. thank you for sharing your joys with us! god bless you!

8:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whitney and the Ceraks,
I keep rewriting my words to post on this blog... none are adequate to describe the joy and gratitude we share with you! God is so good... Whitney you have been dilligent and faithful in your sufferings and your example will stay in my heart as I continually recognize how far I have to go in my walk to become more and more Christ-like. Thank you for sharing this road with us, so that we can pray with and for you, weep with you, celebrate these milestones with you! You are dear to us.

All that matters in this life is to know Christ and share Him with those around us. Much of this has happened recently because of what God has allowed you to go through, and how you have handled the challenge. I wish I could sit with you and tell you all about the conversations I have been able to have with non-believers, so that you could know first hand the encouragement that should be yours.

I pray every blessing on you as you anticipate and prepare for another year at our BELOVED Taylor - what a welcome you will receive! I hope my sister has the chance to meet you.

We love you all!

-A sister in Christ and a partner in prayer.

8:49 AM  
Anonymous LeeAnna said...

I'm so proud of your progress!!! yay! holler! :)

8:57 AM  
Anonymous dani brown said...

YAY! Praise the Lord! God has done such amazing work in the past few months! I am so glad that you get to go back to Taylor and be encouraged there as you continue to heal.

8:57 AM  
Anonymous Jeanette said...

Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We're so excited!

Scott, Jeanette, Micah, and Leah

9:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As I sit in my office reading this update, I'm holding back tears. God is great!
Whitney has triumphed over the challenges presented time and again with the loving help of her family, her medical team, and most of all with the help of Christ.
I am so happy for you Whitney that you will be able to return to school so quickly. Rejoice with those who love you!
May God continue to bless you with his magnificence.
Love and prayers,

9:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't wait to have her back on campus!!

9:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praise God! I know many in Christ's body today are rejoicing with you. We will continue to pray that Whitney's endurance and processing skills improve. (Could I ask a question--just what does "neuro endurance" mean? I am praying for this but don't exactly know what it means--perhaps I need it too:)

9:20 AM  
Anonymous Marci (Sloat) said...

Rejoicing with you! Praise God!

9:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How we rejoice with you in how far Whitney has come in just 3 short months. God has allowed a broken world to see His hand do a miracle in Whitney's life. Thank you, Cerak family, for your continued faithfulness to our God. Whitney, how exciting for you! Please keep being excited when the homework comes. Remember this is what we all have been praying for:)

To Jim & Edna who posted they were lifelong friends of the Linenger's and Aryn (Laura VanRyn's boyfriend), could you please let them know (especially Aryn) that we continue to pray for him. We do not know Aryn personally but our hearts were very touched as he spoke at Laura's funeral. We pray that God is healing Aryn and bringing him peace. Aryn, please know that besides the Ceraks and the 5 chosen families, that you have not been forgotten. God loves you and has a plan for your life as well. We continue to lift you up in prayer.

Paul & Linda

9:37 AM  
Anonymous Emily said...


9:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yay!!! Now 1EO will be complete again!

10:02 AM  
Anonymous Pamela said...

What a blessing and a miracle! I read the article in People and feel compelled to offer a suggestion about Whitney's long term antibiotic treatment. As a health practitioner, I BEG of you to protect her with a high dose probiotic protocol or her intestinal tract & immune system will be compromised. See the latest research on http://www.asm.org/Academy/index.asp?bid=43351. Please feel free to contact me for further assistance or information. Not all probiotics are created equal and the brand proven effective & that I see outstanding results with is Natren. They can be reached at 800-992-3323. God Bless!

10:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you go girl! thanks for inspiring us all :)

10:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We rejoice with you, Whitney!!!!!

10:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yay~PRAISE GOD FROM WHOM ALL BLESSINGS FLOW!!! Way to go Whit!! God is soooo GOOD!

10:44 AM  
Blogger Carrie said...

Can you hear me cheering and hooting and whistling and yelling and laughing and crying and being so darn proud of you and what prayers of the faithful coupled with He who is POWERFUL can do????

10:50 AM  
Anonymous Jessica Wittebols said...

I'm a Taylor student ('08) from Grand Rapids and have been following the blog closely every day. Emotions were high reading today's blog as I'm so excited Whitney can be back at Taylor this fall. I don't know Whitney personally but I know that the TU community will surround her and help her in any way possible. What an awesome God is for putting together such a great community of believers together and for taking care of Whitney so remarkably!

11:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes! What wonderful news for Whitney and her family. We are believing God for a full recovery and TU is just the place for this to happen. God is so good!

11:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


11:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah!! Praise Jesus for this awesome news. He is the light, he is the savior!

11:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Praise God from whom all blessings flow!" Truly awesome what God and done and is continuing to do. Newell, Colleen, Carly and Whitney, you are a blessing to us and we continue in prayer for you all. Doris and John

11:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

YAY!!! God is SO good isn't he. I'm so excited to be able to see Whit around campus once again. My prayers are with yall.

12:24 PM  
Anonymous CM said...

Whitney, We are so thrilled with your progress, and may you continue to move on your road to recovery with as much energy that you have had in the past 3 months. You are blessed with a wonderful family and terrific friends, and this new news of going back to school in September is AWESOME. WE are so proud of you Whitney and I know your mom and dad are going to be so happy in a couple of weeks when they say to you......WELCOME HOME

May God continue to bless each and everyone of you.

1:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

YAY! YAY! YAY! YAY! Whit, are you gonna be on First East??!! if so we're gonna be sister floors!!! WHOOOO!

I cannot believe how quickly you've recovered and are still recovering. I've been checking for these updates several times a day since Lisa started the blog and it's just been incredible to watch your progress. And in all of it God is shining through. He has so richly blessed us. And it's awesome that even amidst all of this He has been the constant one, the one who stands above all things. HIS NAME WE PRAISE!

"To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore!" Jude 1:24-25

1:50 PM  
Anonymous emily said...

I am SOOO excited fou you! I, too, will be a second year student this fall. Although a different university(I go to Kent State in Ohio), I can still definitely relate to wanting to back in the Fall!! I also hsve physical chsllenges, but they don't stop me from a crsxy, fun-filled life:) Congrats Whitney on reaching such a big goal. Your hard work has and will continue to pay off!!

2:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes Yes Yes, God is good. My concern is that going back to school so soon could spell TROUBLE! She will be under a tremendous amount of pressure to try to keep up with school and all other requirements, this is speaking from knowledge gained from another case I know, the girl ended up not being able to finish the semester and ultamately having a break-down, so why risk that after all Whitney has gone through. A more logical approach would be to have some time at home and then start school in January. You may want to consider other options rather than facing a set back. May God continue to lead her.

3:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Such joyful news...to know Whit is returning to Taylor is soooo awesome...praise the Lord.

The world is watching, praying, and learning from Whitney's story...the other ones who left this earth that April night also represent such strong testimonies of the Lord...I pray hearts are still hearing them...Whitney is such a champ.

3:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yay Whitney Cerak! Glad to see you're coming back! Only know you through the news, but have been following your story and blog, and praying for you and wishing you the best ever since. Have been away, so thought i'd check in to see how you are doing, and lo, what amazing progress!! How wonderful! Blessings on you Ceraks. Please and love from NC.

4:12 PM  
Blogger ~~angie~~ said...

"Our God is an awesome God"
I am so happy for Whit. Thank-you
Mr. and Mrs. Cerak for this
ongoing testimony. It has touched
so so many lives all across the continent.
My prayers are with you daily!


4:19 PM  
Anonymous drew said...

I am so happy for you Whitney!

4:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is amazing to read everyday how almighty our God is! Not that we ever really forget his greatness but I know that I often take for granted everything that he has done in my life. GOD IS GOOD, GOOD EVERYDAY!!

I just wanted to say thanks also for the baby gift that you sent. It was not necessary but way CUTE! Walt and I wanted to you know of the newest arrival. You guys have had such an impact on our lives. She already has me wrapped around her little finger. I pray that we can raise our children to be godly children, as you have done so well with yours.

I am excited every time to read how well Whitney is doing. She is such a determined person and she should be proud of herself!

God Bless and can't wait for you to meet Hannah,
The Moores

4:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are an amazing women Whitney, may God always be at your side.
Your truely an inspiration to the WORLD!!!!!!!!!!

6:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm overwhelmed with praise and joy, and crying and laughing at the same time. How awesome is our God!! Whitney, you are right where God wants you to be.. headed back to Taylor! Our prayers will continue to uphold you.

Best wishes and love, Connie Randall, mother of a very special '06 TU graduate!

6:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praise God!!! Whitney and family, you are always in my prayers!!

7:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have cried with you and prayed with you - rejoiced with you. Praising God with you now.

8:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful, wonderful news! I know that Whitney will be renewed in spirit by being back in the rhythm of school with her friends, instead of languishing awkwardly at home while her class goes on without her. Naturally I hope that Taylor U will do its part to help ease her way back in. Let us know when she is released--I hope she gets a little time back home before school starts--and please keep this blog up for awhile after your last post.

All blessings to you all,
Larry from California
A follower of Jesus

8:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh me of little faith! I knew Whitney was doing better than expected, but even though I've read your posts every day and left a few messages occasionally; I was so afraid that she wouldn't be able to return to Taylor as soon as this fall, and was worried that she would be let down after getting her hopes up- but boy am I glad I was wrong! She is doing MUCH better than I imagined she would in that she can return to TU this fall!! Way to go, Whitney! I'm so happy to hear this wonderful news, and you really are living proof of God's miraculous healing. All of your determination and hard work is paying off. I'm sorry for all the physical and emotional pain you've had to suffer and endure. I hope you realize how many lives you have had and continue to have a real spiritual impact on, and that peoples' souls all over have come to see God's light shine through you and your family's testimonies. I know that God has great plans for your future, and someday the pain you've gone through will fade. But if and as you share your story for years to come, I think you will continue to be a real source of encouragement for others who may face similiar circumstances. Good luck as you get ready to head back to college in the next few weeks! With love and best wishes, a fellow "Gaylordite".

9:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, Ceraks, for sharing Whitney with all those who already love her and those who will love her at Taylor. The campus that has grieved so much will be overflowing with joy at her return! Congratulations, Whitney, you have worked so hard! Thank you, Ceraks, for sharing the stories of our Lord's faithfulness in this truly amazing process of healing Whitney. Praise God! I hope someday to meet Whitney on campus - and now there will be lots more opportunites :)

~TU '08

9:48 PM  
Anonymous Madeleine said...

Yay Whitney! I'm glad that she will be able to get back into the swing of things this fall! I don't go to Taylor, but I know that I'm itching to get back to my college community, as she must be! It's great that she can go back! I'm so happy for her, and I don't even know her haha. God is amazing!

9:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Whitney! I am so glad that you are going to be back at Taylor in the fall! It will be such a blessing to see your beautiful face around campus and in Olson!

We are thanking God for the beautiful miracle that you are to all of us!

-love from Second East Olson
-TU '08

6:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Whitney and all the family,

The mercy of God is from everlasting to everlasting!

What wonderful news for Whitney and how scary it must be to think of letting her go.

You all continue to be in our prayers and thoughts.

With our love,

Norie and the Columbus group

6:26 AM  
Anonymous Postma`s said...

Whitney, We are so excited for you.
You have come such a long way and God has blessed you beyond measure.
Love, the Postma`s

8:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is so neat! That means she is going home soon so she can get ready to go, since school starts in just a few weeks! Yeah girlie!!

7:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


7:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yay!!! I am so excited for Whitney! I will be praying for your continued healing and for your parents as you go back to TU!!! You will be very popular on campus! May God continue blessing you & your family!

6:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God is Good! Another emotional read today. After spending my mornings with your blog all summer, I feel as though my daughter is heading off to college.

4:17 AM  
Anonymous April Hart said...

Although, I do not know Whitney or the family, I have to let you know my heart and prayers are with you all. I take care of people who have suffered TBI'S and were unable to come as far as Whitney has. It was so heartfelt to me to hear of her doing so well. Your story has inspired me so much and I understand more now, that what I do really makes a difference in a persons life. Thank you for sharing Whitneys progress. As much as I love what I do, I can honestly say, thank god, I won't have to take care of Whitney!! (I mean that in the nicest way)

4:41 PM  

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