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Newell and Colleen Cerak

Parents of Whitney Cerak

 Newell and Colleen Cerak Biography

Newell and Colleen are the parents of Whitney Cerak who was mistakenly identified as deceased at the scene of a tragic car accident in the spring of 2006. A month later, it was discovered that Whitney was in fact alive, and another family, thinking she was their daughter, had been caring for her all that time. While the Ceraks were overcome with joy that Whitney was alive, they soon found that their happiness was met by the despair of the other family newly grieving a month old loss of their own daughter.

In March, 2008, the Ceraks along with the Van Ryns released a book about all these events and their emotional struggle called Mistaken Identity. This New York Times #1 Bestseller brings to life the joy and pain of two families who have over come so much, and in the midst of it all, point to God’s love as the source of their strength.

Excerpt from Today’s Christian Woman Magazine (click HERE to read full artical): On April 30, 2006, Colleen Cerak woke up crying. Her husband, Newell, held her for a few moments. "I never knew I could hurt this bad," he said. It was their daughter Whitney's 19th birthday. It was also the day of her visitation.

Just four days earlier, Whitney, along with five other college students and four employees from Taylor University, had been in an automobile accident. They'd been returning to the Upland, Indiana, campus following a banquet when a semi-tractor truck had struck their van, killing four students and one worker.

The coroner had called Colleen the day of the crash to tell her Whitney had been pronounced dead at the accident scene. Colleen and Newell had agreed not to identify the body themselves, haunted by the words of a friend who'd recently lost her daughter: "I can't shake the image of her lying in a casket." The Ceraks preferred to remember their vibrant daughter active and laughing.

A month later, on May 31, Colleen woke at 2 a.m. to a ringing phone. It was the coroner again. When he said, "We believe your daughter may be alive," Colleen was stunned—and skeptical. Doctors now thought the surviving student they'd believed to be Laura Van Ryn was actually Whitney.

Soon, Colleen was on her way to the hospital. There, officials explained that questions about the patient's identity had arisen as she'd healed from facial injuries and regained speech and dexterity. When asked to write her name, she'd scrawled, "W-H-I-T-N-E-Y." When asked her parents' names, she'd replied, "Newell and Colleen." Growing suspicious, doctors had checked Laura's dental records. To everyone's shock, the records had confirmed the person in the bed wasn't Laura. Soon after, the coroner had called the Ceraks.

When Colleen finally entered the room labeled "Laura Van Ryn," she took one look at the girl in the bed, and whispered, "It's Whitney." Dental records soon confirmed Colleen's words.

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Why All American Speakers?

All American Speakers is among the largest full-service talent booking agencies in the world.

See how our approach to booking talent is unique and why more than 96% of our clients recommend us.

ALL AMERICAN ADVANTAGE »
Booking Agency-related Disclaimer

Fee Information: Booking Fees to hire speakers and celebrities are determined based on a number factors and often change without notice. Fee Ranges listed on this website are intended to serve only as a guideline. For the most current celebrity fees or to check availability, please contact a booking agent.

Please Note: All American Speakers Bureau acts only as an entertainment broker/producer for corporate functions, private engagements and special events. All American Speakers Bureau does not claim or represent itself as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Newell and Colleen Cerak or any artists or celebrities on this website.

All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials and endorsements.

Profiles listed on this website are provided as a resource to our clients, which are meeting and event planners and other buyers of talent in order to provide them with the widest variety and selection of available talent. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read about the All American Speakers Bureau Advantage.

Due to the volume of emails and calls we receive, we can no longer respond to inquiries related to any of the following:

  • Schedules of upcoming public appearances
  • Contact info for artists or requests to forward messages.
  • Artist's TV, stage or film projects or representation
  • Media requests for print, radio or TV interviews.
  • Any inquiry not related to hiring talent for paid engagements

Related Tags: Find top-rated keynote speakers, corporate entertainers and famous personalities like Newell and Colleen Cerak. Find information on booking Newell and Colleen Cerak for appearances, speaking engagements and endorsements. Your source for booking agency and speaker bureau contact info, as well as how to contact a celebrity talent booking agent that can book Newell and Colleen Cerak, list of similar top-rated speakers for hire, what is the cost to book a top 10 motivational speaker, musician, comedian or famous athlete like Newell and Colleen Cerak.

This website is a resource for event professionals and strives to provide the most comprehensive catalog of thought leaders and industry experts to consider for speaking engagements. A listing or profile on this website does not imply an agency affiliation or endorsement by the talent.

All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

If you are the talent, and wish to request removal from this catalog or report an issue with your profile, please click here.

Newell and Colleen Cerak

Parents of Whitney Cerak

  • About
  • Videos

 Newell and Colleen Cerak Biography

Newell and Colleen are the parents of Whitney Cerak who was mistakenly identified as deceased at the scene of a tragic car accident in the spring of 2006. A month later, it was discovered that Whitney was in fact alive, and another family, thinking she was their daughter, had been caring for her all that time. While the Ceraks were overcome with joy that Whitney was alive, they soon found that their happiness was met by the despair of the other family newly grieving a month old loss of their own daughter.

In March, 2008, the Ceraks along with the Van Ryns released a book about all these events and their emotional struggle called Mistaken Identity. This New York Times #1 Bestseller brings to life the joy and pain of two families who have over come so much, and in the midst of it all, point to God’s love as the source of their strength.

Excerpt from Today’s Christian Woman Magazine (click HERE to read full artical): On April 30, 2006, Colleen Cerak woke up crying. Her husband, Newell, held her for a few moments. "I never knew I could hurt this bad," he said. It was their daughter Whitney's 19th birthday. It was also the day of her visitation.

Just four days earlier, Whitney, along with five other college students and four employees from Taylor University, had been in an automobile accident. They'd been returning to the Upland, Indiana, campus following a banquet when a semi-tractor truck had struck their van, killing four students and one worker.

The coroner had called Colleen the day of the crash to tell her Whitney had been pronounced dead at the accident scene. Colleen and Newell had agreed not to identify the body themselves, haunted by the words of a friend who'd recently lost her daughter: "I can't shake the image of her lying in a casket." The Ceraks preferred to remember their vibrant daughter active and laughing.

A month later, on May 31, Colleen woke at 2 a.m. to a ringing phone. It was the coroner again. When he said, "We believe your daughter may be alive," Colleen was stunned—and skeptical. Doctors now thought the surviving student they'd believed to be Laura Van Ryn was actually Whitney.

Soon, Colleen was on her way to the hospital. There, officials explained that questions about the patient's identity had arisen as she'd healed from facial injuries and regained speech and dexterity. When asked to write her name, she'd scrawled, "W-H-I-T-N-E-Y." When asked her parents' names, she'd replied, "Newell and Colleen." Growing suspicious, doctors had checked Laura's dental records. To everyone's shock, the records had confirmed the person in the bed wasn't Laura. Soon after, the coroner had called the Ceraks.

When Colleen finally entered the room labeled "Laura Van Ryn," she took one look at the girl in the bed, and whispered, "It's Whitney." Dental records soon confirmed Colleen's words.

People who viewed this profile also viewed:

What people are saying about us

See More Testimonials »

Why All American Speakers?

All American Speakers is among the largest full-service talent booking agencies in the world.

See how our approach to booking talent is unique and why more than 96% of our clients recommend us.

ALL AMERICAN ADVANTAGE »
Booking Agency-related Disclaimer

Fee Information: Booking Fees to hire speakers and celebrities are determined based on a number factors and often change without notice. Fee Ranges listed on this website are intended to serve only as a guideline. For the most current celebrity fees or to check availability, please contact a booking agent.

Please Note: All American Speakers Bureau acts only as an entertainment broker/producer for corporate functions, private engagements and special events. All American Speakers Bureau does not claim or represent itself as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Newell and Colleen Cerak or any artists or celebrities on this website.

All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials and endorsements.

Profiles listed on this website are provided as a resource to our clients, which are meeting and event planners and other buyers of talent in order to provide them with the widest variety and selection of available talent. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read about the All American Speakers Bureau Advantage.

Due to the volume of emails and calls we receive, we can no longer respond to inquiries related to any of the following:

  • Schedules of upcoming public appearances
  • Contact info for artists or requests to forward messages.
  • Artist's TV, stage or film projects or representation
  • Media requests for print, radio or TV interviews.
  • Any inquiry not related to hiring talent for paid engagements

Related Tags: Find top-rated keynote speakers, corporate entertainers and famous personalities like Newell and Colleen Cerak. Find information on booking Newell and Colleen Cerak for appearances, speaking engagements and endorsements. Your source for booking agency and speaker bureau contact info, as well as how to contact a celebrity talent booking agent that can book Newell and Colleen Cerak, list of similar top-rated speakers for hire, what is the cost to book a top 10 motivational speaker, musician, comedian or famous athlete like Newell and Colleen Cerak.

This website is a resource for event professionals and strives to provide the most comprehensive catalog of thought leaders and industry experts to consider for speaking engagements. A listing or profile on this website does not imply an agency affiliation or endorsement by the talent.

All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

If you are the talent, and wish to request removal from this catalog or report an issue with your profile, please click here.

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