Mistaken Identity: Two Families, One Survivor, Unwavering Hope  -     By: Don Van Ryn, Susie Van Ryn, Newell Cerak, Colleen Cerak
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Mistaken Identity: Two Families, One Survivor, Unwavering Hope

Howard Books / 2009 / Paperback

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Product Description

When five Taylor University students and staff were killed in a tragic accident, one survivor---hospitalized and in a coma---was identified as Laura Van Ryn. Another young woman, Whitney Cerak, was buried. The discovery that the girls had been mistaken for each other changed their families forever. An amazing story of healing---and the bonds of faith! 288 pages, softcover from Howard.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 288
Vendor: Howard Books
Publication Date: 2009
Dimensions: 9 X 6 (inches)
ISBN: 1439153558
ISBN-13: 9781439153550
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

Meet Laura Van Ryn and Whitney Cerak: one buried under the wrong name, one in a coma and being cared for by the wrong family.

This shocking case of mistaken identity stunned the country and made national news. Would it destroy a family? Shatter their faith? Push two families into bitterness, resentment, and guilt?

Read this unprecedented story of two traumatized families who describe their ordeal and explore the bond sustaining and uniting them as they deal with their bizarre reversal of life lost and life found.

And join Whitney Cerak, the sole surviving student, as she comes to terms with her new identity, forever altered, yet on the brink of new beginnings.

Mistaken Identity weaves a complex tale of honesty, vulnerability, loss, hope, faith, and love in the face of one of the strangest twists of circumstances imaginable.

Author Bio

The Van Ryn family -- Don, Susie, Lisa, Kenny, and Mark -- of Grand Rapids, Michigan shares an avid interest in outdoor recreation. Don and Susie, married for thirty years, are leaving their chosen professions to dedicate themselves full time to an outdoor camping experience for youth in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

Lisa is pursuing a career in physical therapy, and Kenny lives and works in Southern California. Mark is recently married and resides in the Detroit area.

Despite the sorrow surrounding the passing of their daughter Laura,the family continues to be involved in the work of their local church and community. The Cerak family -- Newell, Colleen, Carly, Whitney and Sandra Sepulveda -- lives in northern Michigan, where Newell is a youth pastor and Colleen is a PE teacher and coach.

Carly graduated from Taylor University and has lived in Africa for the last six months starting a new ministry to street kids.

Sandra took a year from Grand Valley State University and joined with Invisible Children to bring awareness of the plight of children in Uganda. She is currently back at GVSU finishing her nursing degree.

Whitney is now a junior at Taylor University majoring in psychology. She is confident in God's healing and the revelation of the Holy Spirit in her life. Mark Tabb has authored and co-authored over twenty books, including Living with Less, the Upside of Downsizing Your Life (B&H), and the 2004 Gold Medallion finalist, Out of the Whirlwind (B&H). He also collaborated with Stephen Baldwin on the New York Times bestseller, The Unusual Suspect (FaithWords). Mark is currently working with Alec Baldwin on his book, A Promise to Ourselves (St. Martin’s Press).

Product Reviews

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  1. Manitoba
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    August 3, 2012
    Hae z
    Manitoba
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I enjoyed this book. At first you can't understand how they could have mixed up the identities, but as you read on it does become obvious that it could happen. One gets so involved with the feelings of both the families, and my heart went out to them. I hope they're all doing o.k.
  2. 4 Stars Out Of 5
    February 8, 2010
    Mary Lou Duguid
    I have heard one of the couples who authored this book tell their real life story. The book is written just like they tell it. It is life in motion, sadness, humor, unbelief, but always faith in each other and in God. It is a road well traveled because through it all, they are a bonded family. It comes through clearly in the penned words from all perspectives.
  3. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    January 12, 2010
    Cindy Freeman
    This book was heartwarming, the families went through trials that we would never want to go through. The love for each others families were remarkable when the true identity came out. I would urge others to read it.
  4. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    October 2, 2009
    DShil
    I bought this book for my teenage daughter after having seen the Dateline coverage of the event. She read the book in a weekend and shared it with her English class and sister. It really seemed to reach her in a way only a story about others her age could do. She seems really moved to help others after reading the story and having a reawakening about our own mortality and what to do with the time she has been given.
  5. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    May 16, 2009
    Michelle Ryan
    This is such a testimony of their love and faith in God. I could feel their pain. I couldn't put it down!
Displaying items 1-5 of 13
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