Category Archives: US news stories

Abandoned, Adopted, Advocate: Izidor Ruckel’s Incredible Journey to Healing

Tracey Tiernan interviews orphan advocate Izidor Ruckel and screenwriter Sarah Padbury for her podcast, "Your day brighter: Real reasons to have hope in this world." The duo discuss how they met, Izidor's journey from orphan to advocate, and how they are producing a limited series based on his life story that they hope will change the world.

Listen here on 95.1 SHINE FM.

Listen here on Spotify.

The Atlantic: Can an unloved child learn to love?

The Atlantic takes a deep dive into Izidor Ruckel's story of surviving a horrific Romanian orphanage. Presenting comprehensive analysis of institutionalized children from experts, the almost 9,000-word story is the most in-depth look to date of what he and tens of thousands of Romanian orphans endured under Nicolae Ceaușescu's Communist regime.

Read The Atlantic article here.

Morgan Freeman interviews Izidor Ruckel for new docuseries


Morgan Freeman interviews Izidor Ruckel for new docuseries
The Story of Us with Morgan Freeman highlights the power of love with Ruckel’s story

LOS ANGELES, Calif., October 2, 2017 – Morgan Freeman interviewed Izidor Ruckel for the six-part docuseries The Story of Us with Morgan Freeman, premiering on National Geographic in the U.S. on October 11 at 9/8c, and globally in 171 countries and 45 languages in early 2018. An episode entitled “The Power of Love” includes Ruckel’s life story and will air as the third installment in the series on October 25, 2017.

Los Angeles - Host Morgan Freeman meets with Izidor Ruckel who discusses his horrific experience living in a Romanian orphanage as a child. (National Geographic/Justin Lubin)

The series follows Freeman as he travels the world investigating ideas that unite mankind. In June, Freeman met with Ruckel at a park in Los Angeles to explore how the lack of familial love during early childhood shaped him. Ruckel spent the first eleven years of his life in a cruel Romanian orphanage for the “unsalvageables,” where lack of food and routine beatings stunted his growth physically and emotionally.

Freeman also interviewed Ruckel’s American adoptive parents, Danny and Marlys Ruckel, on their attempts to reach such a broken boy with the meaning of love.

“Morgan Freeman was truly curious to see how love has impacted someone who was locked away for so many years,” Ruckel said. “During the interview, I could sense that the stories he heard about the orphanage were truly shocking and eye opening for him.”

National Geographic/Justin Lubin

Watch The Story of Us with Morgan Freeman: The Power of Love on October 25th to see the impact of just one person showing love to Ruckel in the midst of his horrifying childhood. To find the National Geographic Channel in your country, visit:

Izidor Ruckel is an orphan advocate who seeks to bring hope and dignity to children still suffering all over the world. Learn more at


Media Contact: Sarah Padbury

Los Angeles Times: Former Romanian orphan in the U.S. helps…

Los Angeles Times reporter John M. Glionna traveled to Colorado in 2015 to interview Izidor Ruckel. The meeting reunited Glionna and Ruckel for the first time since 1991. Glionna's first story covered Ruckel's transition into his new adoptive family after arriving in America at age eleven.

What is Ruckel's life like now, almost 25 years later?

Click here to read Glionna's latest story: "Former Romanian orphan in the U.S. helps other 'unsalvageables' in his homeland"