Mistaken Identity by Don & Susie Van Ryn
Two Families, One Survivor, Unwavering Hope

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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.

About Don & Susie Van Ryn

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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).
Published March 25, 2008 by Howard Books. 290 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Religion & Spirituality, Self Help. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Mistaken Identity

Publishers Weekly

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In a widely reported incident in 2006, Laura Van Ryn and Whitney Cerak, students at an evangelical college in Indiana, and their families were victims of a ghastly mistake: the wrong girl was identified as the survivor of a car crash that claimed multiple lives.

| Read Full Review of Mistaken Identity: Two Famili...

Book Reporter

I know people wondered what had happened to the old Whitney, and I wondered that myself.” What helps her, Whitney says, is a comment her sister Carly made.

Mar 25 2008 | Read Full Review of Mistaken Identity: Two Famili...


Colleen Cerak woke up with a start to the sound of the phone ringing.

Apr 24 2008 | Read Full Review of Mistaken Identity: Two Famili...

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