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Morgan Freeman interviews Izidor Ruckel for new mini series

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Morgan Freeman interviews Izidor Ruckel for new mini series
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:

www.nationalgeographic.com/siteindex/international

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

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Media Contact: Sarah Padbury
Email: Sarah@IzidorRuckel.com

Breaking News: Izidor Ruckel moves to Romania

Izidor joins the staff at Love Light Romania
Izidor joins the staff at Love Light Romania

BUCHAREST, ROMANIA>> In a Bucharest apartment last week, Izidor Ruckel was packing to return to the United States when his phone buzzed.

“Hi Izidor, sorry do not want to disturb you, I know you are busy,” said the text message. “But I really would like to talk with you about something…”

The next sentence stunned him: “We are in the position to offer you a job…”

Ruckel, who resides in Denver, Colorado, spent the last month in Romania. The first part of the trip he facilitated a reunion between a former orphan (adopted by an American family in 1999) and his birth family. Adoptee Michael Slein, his adoptive family, and his biological family were featured together on the La Maruta show on March 28th in a meeting that brought healing and hope.

Ruckel then met up with Sarah Padbury and Serena Orrego, colleagues from The States, who joined Ruckel for a visit to his hometown of Sighetu Marmatiei. Ruckel became the face of institutionalized orphans worldwide when the press discovered him in a horrific orphanage in 1990, soon followed by his adoption into an American family. The trio visited the orphanage (now an abandoned building) and interviewed several former workers and residents. The research trip was organized to confirm the facts of Ruckel’s journey to America in order to turn his life story into a feature film.

“We were astounded at how well Izidor’s childhood memories lined up with the recollections of the adults who were there,” Padbury said. “We found evidence of every person Izidor remembered and confirmation of the events he experienced.”

For more information on the upcoming movie, visit IzidorTheMovie.com.

During his travels, Ruckel also visited an NGO called Love Light Romania (LLR) located in Medias, a town of about 50,000 in Sibiu County. LLR was founded by Ron and Jo Jowett in 2000. The British couple first began visiting Romania to help its orphans in the mid-1990s and soon found they needed to be available full-time to be truly effective in their work. They sold all they had and moved permanently to Romania. Today LLR operates several programs to help Romania’s orphans, including a home and resources for HIV/AIDS infected children and an education program to help families escape poverty.

Helping the orphan is a part of Ruckel’s heartbeat. So when the Jowetts offered him a one-year contract to work at LLR as a mentor to teenagers, he was thrilled.

“I never thought that the time would come when I would be able to live in Romania and be employed,” Ruckel said. “Life is full of surprises and I'm truly honored that the opportunity has knocked.”

Ruckel has dreamed of working in Romania for many years and is starting his new position immediately. Instead of traveling back to Colorado, he took a train to Medias and is currently settling in.

Godspeed!