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.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

August 8, 2006

"You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand." Psalms 16:11

Whitney had a good day but felt a little tired. She used alot of energy in physical therapy walking backwards, walking fast and even tried jogging(she told me I can beat her now, but watch out). She worked on organizing skills in speech therapy. We know she is going to need that with all that comes in college life. During occupational therapy she used fresh blueberries and made oatmeal blueberry cookies. No joke, they were delicious. I never knew you could make blueberry cookies. I think I'm loving occupational therapy and hope they continue it for a long time!

Early evening we got inspired and tried to do our own school shopping. Sandra(expert shopper) was there to help but some things dont change. We were in the first store and Whitney said she was tired of shopping(I think she is going to use this excuse forever). We lasted about an hour and found a few cute things.

We went to bed early as Whitney needs to be at the hospital at 6AM to remove some screws in her elbow. They are close to the skin and causing a little discomfort. I'm sure all will be fine and we are thankful that we could get it taken care of.

"Keep me safe, O God, for in you I take refuge. I said to the Lord, You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing." Psalms 16:1

With love,
Whitney's mom


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good Luck tomorrow, with the removal of the screws in the elbow! I will pray that all goes well, as I always do. :)
It is great to see such progress, even though she is so tired, that phase will end, I am sure...lol...even if she uses that excuse FOREVER!! :) I never had Blueberry Cookies either. I would love to send my address so Whitney could send me a few..ha ha ha.
It was great to hear that you got to do a little shopping for school.
I look forward to hearing how the Surgery goes. Thinking of all of you!
Blessings and Smiles,
Annie Horsky
Long Island, NY

12:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cerak family:
I have followed your Whitney's progress and am so happy for you. I understand alot that you are going thru as my husband had a serious brain injury 9 years ago this August. We have been thru the therapies and have fought this long battle. Today, he found out that he got a part-time job. You see he hasn't been able to work all this time. For the first time, I see a gleam in his eyes again. Throughout I always prayed but not until Whitney's accident and this blog did I truly learn to turn everything over to the Lord and let him work his miracles. I pray for Whitney and your family and I pray for my husband and our family. Thank you for taking the time to share your life and your faith.

1:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good Luck tomorrow Whit! I'll say a little prayer for you... XOXO

1:30 PM  
Anonymous Jeanette said...


We're praying for your surgery tomorrow! Can't wait to have you back in Indiana!

Jeanette and family

1:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any chance you could post the recipe for the blueberry oatmeal cookies? I'd love to make them myself!

And, many congrats go out to all of you for your continued perserverance and faith. May the Lord continue to bless you abundantly. I'll say an extra special prayer for Whitney tomorrow!

A sister in Christ

2:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whitney, you are in my prayers...and I trust that God will hold you very close to Him throughout your surgery tomorrow...much love,

a mt zion mom

2:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just to let you know that I have been praying for you every day and I am so happy to see the progress you are making. To see your recovery nearing completion and what God has accomplished in such a short time is so uplifting. You guys know you are loved and I can't wait until we are all together again. Thank you for your testimony and Whit you owe me a date at the Sugar Bowl. Twitch

3:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praying for you! I have not been able to work a day since my TBI 12 years ago. I am on disability and could never be able to think clear enough to work. I am proud of you and praying for you - it is awesome that God has chosen to touch you and make you whole again. I pray that in my brokeness I can still be of help to someone.

3:52 PM  
Anonymous CM said...

Whitney...I am jealous, are they better then the cranberry oatmeal? Long Island Loves You

4:05 PM  
Anonymous just one of God's children said...

We love you! Praise the Lord for all that He is doing! We praise Him for putting those in your life that have the gifts that are needed to keep things moving forward for Whit. It is not by chance that she is here or under the medical care that she has...it is by God's grace.

I love hearing about the individuality that Whit still has. God is so good and has allowed her to keep her own thoughts, likes and dislikes. We are fearly and wonderfully made by the Potter's hands.

God bless you all.

4:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We will be praying that everything goes well when the doctors remove the screws. Whitney may want to "shop online". I don't like shopping malls either, so I fully understand. God hears the prayers of His people.
God is so good!

5:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey all,

May God bless Whitney and all the rest of you, Ceraks and VanRyns and all involved.

Noticed some back-and-forth in the comments about the appropriateness of Whitney speedily returning to college. Well, I think there really are 2 sides to it. I mean, I'm nobody but I feel that I ought to speak up anyhow.

Yes, people have done this before, at least one person has. I have this friend who I hung out with in college long ago. 10, 11 years ago it was. Anyway she went from a TBI with 2-month coma and rehab to a full load of college courses, part time work, and taking care of herself in all ways in under a year. And got a degree from an internationally top-ranked science program, in 3 1/2 years, so early even!

Yet she really doesn't have good memories about it, and would pretty much like to put college behind her. Because people didn't treat her right, neither the other students or the faculty and staff of the University, and she was seriously overworked, and she was not given any career advice or encouragement by the University, and the whole thing really could have been handled a lot better. Nobody really knew how to handle that situation, not her and not others around her.

She'd like to forget it, to live for her family and husband and children and church and Christ, and that's what she does these days. It's a pretty good life. Maybe college was a good way for her to get there, but it's hard to tell.

I've suggested to her to perhaps post here and at least provide any insight she has on how things could have been better .... but she has so far declined to.

So I guess that's it from me, and if you don't see her around here you don't either, but I guess - with God all things are possible, but as humans I think we've got to keep on top of what we can.

6:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good Luck with the screws tomorrow, Whitney! I wish you could be home for Fun in the Sun. It's been great, but I'm sure Newell would rather be with you. You are so lucky to have such a caring and faithful family. I'm praying about you alot, you are such an inspiration. It's so amazing that you're going back to school this fall. I hope you'll be able to have your privacy, because I am sure that it will be slightly difficult to get back into the groove of things. I also hope you get to come home before you leave, as I know you must miss your own bed & house.

Tomorrow @ Fun in the Sun I am giving my testimony. Whit, know that during it all I will be thinking of you and thanking God that He brought your faith into the spotlight, and gave me a yearning for the same. Good luck, Whit, and keep looking up!

Hope to see you soon - there's so much I wish I could say to you!

♥always - Priscilla

7:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing Whitney's progress. We are encouraged to know how much the Lord keeps us in His care -- knowing that everything has a purpose. This week our family said goodbye to our mother(91)after being in a nursing home for several years. She always wondered why God didn't take her home earlier . . . we are getting some answers to that question now as the nursing home staff tells us how they were touched by her. I know she prayed, as one who said goodbye to family members (including a son),for your family and the others. She finished the race BECAUSE CHRIST LIVES. Will pray Whitney's surgery goes well.

8:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi - We are from Gaylord's good neighbor, Traverse City and beyond our daily prayers and best wishes, we naturally want to extol the virtues of DRIED CHERRIES and oatmeal cookies. Made with applesauce instead of shortening adds a healthy twist also.

Love and Prayers

8:18 PM  
Anonymous marci (Sloat) said...


I'd love the oatmeal cookie recipe too. :) Blueberries are in season out here in Oregon and I'd love to try it. I love reading the daily updates you and the family provide. God is so amazing!

Marci marci@ottcreative.com

10:22 PM  
Anonymous Joey Raymond said...

That last comment from August 8 is about me. Yes, college life was very difficult for me, after I returned to college since my horseback riding accident. I could sense & "feel" other students talking about me & laughing at me, but I just ignored it. I knew it was happening to me, but what could I do when I didn't have any proof. Besides I had too much studying to do & I was working. You see my Freshman year friends had moved away from school or dropped out. So I had to make all new friends. I had ataxia, (the shaking) slightly, in my limbs & my speech was very monotone, still is & difficult for people to understand. I had a job to do ... I was determined to show my college dropout siblings that even though I had a brain injury, I was going to graduate from Michigan State University. No matter how unsympathetic many of the TAs at school were to me, my co-workers or many of the other students, I had something to prove to myself & to the others.

I wasn't saved until 10 years after my accident. That's why I believe Whitney will make a full recovery. She has had God on her side all the way from the beginning. I'm sure Whitney will have a lot of support from her friends & people she knows at TU. That's the reason I feel that Whitney will recover remarkably. She has the love & support from God, her friends & her family.

As I've stated in my previous comments, I believe returning to MSU was probably the best therapy for me. It was a true taste of this cruel world & if I wanted to be a part of it, I'd have to learn to deal with it. Now I know that with God on my side, if I had to do it over again, it probably wouldn't have been so bad. But with a lot of hard work & determination, I got my BS degree & a good deal of life experience.

My high school friends & families & church families were praying for me after my accident. Thanks to the power of prayer & the grace of God, I was able to accomplish what I worked so hard for.

To the Cerak family, allowing Whitney to return to college will be one of the best things you could do for her. She needs to learn to get by on her own without the constant help of therapists, Doctors & family. I think it's remarkable that she has your support, but she'll feel greater accomplishments when she can learn to live on her own again. & with God watching over her, she'll accomplish her goals safely. Thank you for listening to my opinions. I am praying for the comfort of all the families involved & especially for Whitney's full recovery.
In Jesus' name,

11:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Cerak family,

It is so exciting to see how our faithful God works out every detail of our lives, not always in our timing and our ways, but always in a way that only He can do--pefectly! Our daughter, Elizabeth, is a 2006 Taylor graduate. She was a good friend of Laura's and visited her (really Whitney) 5 times when she was in the hospital in Ft. Wayne. We faithfully prayed for the VanRyns and Laura's healing in addition to reading their daily update. I teach at the Wheaton Christian Grammar School (right next to Wheaton College), and my fourth graders not only prayed daily for healing, but they also made wonderful cards filled with Scripture verses for Laura. I gave these letters to Lisa on the day of the TU graduation ceremony. When we learned of the great mix-up, one of my girls asked me if Laura's family would send their cards to your family. I told them that Laura's family would still need to be encouraged by the verses they had included in their cards. We also talked about the idea that God knew all along what was happening. I think every time we prayed for Laura, He miraculously transfered those prayers to Whitney. Be assure of our continued prayers. What a miracle that Whitney can return to Taylor and begin a new school year! We will miss our times at Taylor (our son, Andrew, also graduated from there in 2004). However, we will continue to uphold that wonderful university and all who are part of it, including your family in particular. To God be the glory; great things He has done!
In His unfailing love,
Roger and Janet Burgess

12:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Cerak family,
I just tried adding a response to your last posted message, but I don't think it went through. I will try once more. We are so excited about Whitney being able to return to Taylor and praise the Lord for this great miracle! Our daughter, Elizabeth is a 2006 Taylor graduate, and all that has happened has been very difficult. Laura VanRyn was a good friend of hers. She visited Laura (actually, Whitney) 5 times at the hospital in Ft. Wayne. I teach fourth grade at the Wheaton Christian Grammar School. My students made wonderful cards and included great Scripture verses of encouragement for Laura. We gave these cards to Lisa at the graduation ceremony. When we heard about the great "mix-up," one girl asked if I thought that Laura's family would send these cards to your family. I told her that I thought that Laura's family would still need the Scripture verses and that they would probably keep them. However, we also talked about the idea that God knew all along that it was Whitney who needed our prayers. My class and I prayed every day for Laura's complete healing. I strongly believe that God, in His great sovereignty, understood our prayers and redirected them to Whitney. We will certainly be praying for Whitney's return to campus as well as the entire student body and faculty and staff at Taylor. They have been such a clear witness to so many. We will certainly miss our visits to Taylor (we have been around for 6 years; our son, Andrew, is a 2004 TU grad). We look forward to hearing about God's continued work not only in Whitney's life but in the lives of all those connected to TU. To God be the glory; great things He has done!
In His unfailing love,
Roger and Janet Burgess
(I will now try again to send this. Hopefully this time it will work!)

12:31 AM  
Anonymous Ashley said...

I missed a few blogs when I was on vacation...Is Whitney at home now??

5:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Colleen and Whitney -

OK, I agree with the others, we definately need the recipe for "Whitney's Blueberry Oatmeal Cookies". They sound so wonderfully DELICIOUS!!!! Think of it, you might have started something. Do you have any other special recipes, Whitney? Maybe you could start a recipe book.

Anyway's as always, Colleen, you have chosen a beautiful verse for the day. I love checking out your daily blogs. It has been a true inspiration. Parents everywhere need to read these beautiful words that you write. I know that you have brought a lot of people to the Lord through these blogs. It also gives fellow Christians an uplifting reminder that we need to beleive in God for EVERYTHING.

Praying that all will go well tomorrow. Be Blessed!!!!

Love from,
MdE in North Port, Florida

8:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a 2002 Taylor grad and I am so excited that you get to go back to Taylor this fall. Anyone who has gone to Taylor for even one semester knows that Taylor becomes your home away from home, and if you're not going to be home with your family, there is no better place than Taylor to continue your recovery. I am sure you understand the concern in the post at 6:31 pm, but I honestly don't think that person has a clue what Taylor is really like. I believe that you are going to do very well there once you're back. Take it easy, work hard, and do well.
My brother is a 2006 grad and was a good friend of Laura's. My brother (as well as everyone else effected by the accident)received so much support from everyone at Taylor, and though we're sad about that loss of a friend, we are continually praying for your recovery. Your recovery is encouragement!

10:44 AM  
Anonymous Mindy S said...

You will never know how the verses you quote and the messages you give with them inspire me and comfort me in my own life struggles. Thank you so much for that. Just when you think you couldn't be touched more, it happens.

I pray often for Whitney and all of you, I pray too for Whitney's Mom as I am a Mom.

Thank you for reaching out with your faith.

God Bless Whitney.

6:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do know what I am talking about. I know what Taylor is like - it is awesome. But please don't discredit my knowledge about TBI's. I unfortunately know all about that too!!

6:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can still read the blogs you missed during your vacation, listed on the left side of Whitney's homepage for this blog. (Just FYI). That would be the best way for you to catch up.

9:59 PM  

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