Choices Change Destiny: A Tribute to Charles W. Colson


Shortly after Rick Caudill was born in Newport News, Virginia, his family embarked on a poverty-stricken, nomadic journey from Ohio south through Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, ending in Delaware. Today, Caudill resides in Tucson, Arizona, where he is a proud father and lives a happy, sober life dedicated to Christ.

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Many of us struggle to learn who we are and find our purpose, despite life’s many obstacles. For author Rick Caudill, the struggle began early with a childhood in poverty raised by abusive, alcoholic parents. When his parents abandon him and his seven-year-old brother, he is determined to improve their lives and build a life for himself. He joins the US Medical Service Corps and later becomes a highly successful oral and maxillofacial surgeon with a blind and deaf daughter flourishing in her education.

But the human condition is fragile. Suffering from an infectious disease he contracts from a patient, and already diagnosed with mental illnesses, Caudill begins to self-medicate his depression with alcohol and illicit drugs. Derailed by mental illness, substance abuse, and addiction, he loses everything he worked for — including his freedom and his family.

In this heroically candid memoir, Caudill takes responsibility for his poor decisions, details the plight of having a brain chemical imbalance while navigating the bureaucracy of prison, reveals injustices within the Pima County Criminal Justice System and the Arizona Medical Society, and explains the healing power of surrendering one’s life to Jesus Christ and embracing His redemptive power.

Choices Change Destiny details the rise, fall, and resurrection of a man who undergoes some of life’s hardest trials and tribulations but comes out on the other side a better and fully recovered person. Ultimately, it is a story of hope that will resonate with readers of any background.


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