The Izidor Story team

The Izidor Story team came together due to their collective passion to address the global human rights issues orphans inherently face. We believe elevating Izidor’s true story to a platform that can be easily accessed through worldwide, online streaming is the best way to offer hope to orphans and enlightenment to a global society.

Our current projects include producing a short film, revealing a striking moment in Izidor’s life at the asylum, as well as producing a limited series that delves into his full, true story. Both projects are entitled IZIDOR. Click here for more information about Izidor Story, LLC.

Below are the people who are lending their talents to tell Izidor's story.

Izidor Ruckel

Izidor Ruckel

Subject Specialist and Orphan Advocate - Denver, Colo.
Producer, IZIDOR (limited series and short film)

Izidor Ruckel is the author of Abandoned for Life, which reveals his life as a neglected Romanian orphan and ensuing adoption by an American family, and the producer of the two-time award-winning documentary Given Our Chance.

Izidor is a sought-after orphan advocate, speaking to groups across the United States and Romania on behalf of children still lingering in institutions worldwide.

Dozens of national and international media outlets have featured Izidor’s story, including The Atlantic, The Story of Us with Morgan Freeman, BBC World Service, Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, National Public Radio, ABC News 20/20, and all of Romania’s national news outlets.

(Full bio and press coverage here.)

PadburyHeadshots2022_009 copy SQ

Sarah Padbury

Co-Founder and Creative Director, Izidor Story, LLC - Phoenix, Ariz.
Executive Producer and Screenwriter, IZIDOR (limited series and short film) 

Sarah is a producer, screenwriter, editor, freelance journalist and actress. She helped found Project 1.27, a nonprofit that recruits, trains, and supports foster and adoptive parents. Today, Project 1.27 operates in 13 states and serves 3,500 children annually.

Sarah is also a 7x adoptive parent with children from international orphanages and U.S. foster care. She extensively researched Izidor’s story by interviewing Izidor, his family, orphanage friends, several Americans and Romanians involved in his rescue, and former orphanage workers.  LinkedIn.

Dave Kabbe

Dave Kabbe

Producer and Director, IZIDOR (short film) - Los Angeles, Calif.

Dave is the co-founder of Culture Shock Productions. He has 20 years of leadership experience in producing, coordinating and directing a wide range of productions, including independent films, television, live events, tentpole premieres, talk shows, and multimedia events.

Dave grew up traveling the world, which instilled a passion to give voice to humanitarian issues. As a filmmaker, his travels include interviewing Filipino warlords, documenting genocide in war-torn Iraq, and recording the recent atrocities in Ukraine. His experience as a foster child mentor opened his eyes to the needs of orphans. LinkedIn.

John Kujawa

John Kujawa

Animation Supervisor, IZIDOR (short film) - Los Angeles, Calif.

John is a computer graphic (CG) artist whose extensive experience includes 14 years as technical director for Comedy Central’s Emmy Award-winning show South Park, as well as credits for studios like Activision, Sony Pictures, Disney and HBO. His skills range from conceptual design through high-end 3D animation and Special FX.  Website.

Daniel Wyland headshot

Daniel Wyland

Cinematographer, IZIDOR (short film) - Los Angeles, Calif.

Daniel is a Romanian-born filmmaker. He has won several international awards, specializing as a short film director, cinematographer, screenwriter, and actor. His latest award-winning film, 27 Children, is about a childless Romanian woman who discovers the communist-bloc foster care system secretly altered her life as a child.  Website.


Christine and Mark Haslett

Editors, IZIDOR (short film) - Los Angeles, Calif.

  Christine's Imdb.

Jesper Ankarfeldt - Portrait Glasses 2022

Jesper Ankarfeldt

Film Composer, IZIDOR (short film) - Copenhagen, Denmark

Jesper is a Danish award-winning film composer with more than 100 films to his credit. His films have been screened at hundreds of international film festivals, broadcast in multiple countries, won dozens of international awards, attained multiple Vimeo Staff Pick Premieres, and earned several Oscar qualifications.  Website.

dave sings

Dave LeMieux

"Too Kind" (IZIDOR Original Song) - Denver, Colo.

Dave is a recording artist and award-winning songwriter, including the “Song of the Year” at Integrity Music’s 2007 songwriting competition. He’s the founder of More Than Music, a nonprofit that produces the multimedia stage production Blue Gospel Scripts, as well as the internationally-touring multimedia school assembly program, “At the Table with Dr. King.”  Website.

Gary Coiro

Gary Coiro

Advisor (Izidor Story, LLC) - Baltimore, Md. 

Gary has worked as a nonprofit advisor for over 30 years. Through his company, Servant Network, Gary counsels in the areas of organizational assessment, strategic planning, major donor cultivation, feasibility studies, and nonprofit campaigns – helping raise over $100 million. In addition, Gary is a pastoral staff member at a large multi-cultural church in the Baltimore, Md. area.  Website.

Claes Jonasson

Claes Jonasson

Art and Website Design (Izidor Story, LLC) - Little Rock, Ark.

Hailing from Sweden, Claes is passionate about storytelling. He is the Owner and Creative Director of Claes Jonasson Design LLC. For over 40 years, Claes has crafted award-winning media and design solutions for higher education, nonprofits and small businesses, both in the U.S. and abroad. He’s also a blogger and fiction writer.  Website.

Jodi Slein

Jodi Slein

Administrative Assistant  (Izidor Story, LLC) - Baltimore, Md.

After seeing Izidor’s story on ABC News 20/20 in 1993, Jodi and her husband, Sean, were inspired to adopt their son Michael from a Romanian institution. She has a passion to help adoptees and adoptive parents heal from trauma.