Our guest this week is Brady Murray of Salt Lake City, who is father to 11 children, a managing director at Capstone Partners a Mass Mutual General Agent, founder of RODS Heroes as well as the Special Abilities Network.
Brady and his wife, Andrea, have been married for 21 years and are the proud parents of 11 children. By age they are: Brinley (17), Nash (16), Ridge (13), Copper (11), Mason (8), Willow (6) and Olivia (5) and as this episode gets published the couple is in Columbia adopting four siblings: John (16), Jarrow (14), Sandra (15) and Roccio (10).
Both Nash and Cooper have Down Syndrome.
RODS Heroes is a non-profit organization with the mission to inspire families to adopt children with special needs or other unique circumstances. Over the last decade, RODS Heroes has inspired the adoption of 102 children (83 of whom have Down syndrome), providing them with loving forever homes. Through their advocacy and dedication, RODS Heroes aims to raise awareness and promote a positive perception of adoption of children with special abilities, ultimately transforming lives and communities.
The name RODS is an acronym for Racing for Orphans with Down Syndrome.
Within RODS Heroes, there is a special program entitled Cooper’s Mission. Cooper (11) one of the Murrays with Down Syndrome is on a mission to help unite 30 orphaned children with Down syndrome or other unique circumstances with their forever family – one pitch at a time, by making appearances at 30 Major League Baseball games. Please consider donating to Cooper’s Mission to receive a signed Cooper Murray Rookie Card.
The Special Abilities Network is a coalition of professionals comprised of financial, clinical, legal, and tax experts who work together as a team on your behalf. Every aspect of your special needs plan is developed and executed under the collective strategic guidance of your team members. They surround you and your family with expert support at every step of the journey.
That’s all on this episode or the SFN Dad To Dad Podcast.
Show Links –
Email – email@example.com
Website – https://rods.org/
Website – https://specialabilitiesnetwork.com/
LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/bradymurraycfp/
Instagram – #bradymurray21
Instagram – #RODSHeroes
Tom Couch: [00:00:00] Special thanks to Horizon Therapeutics for sponsoring the Special Fathers Network Dad to Dad Podcast, working tirelessly to research, develop, and bring forward medicines for people living with rare and rheumatic diseases. Discover more about Horizon Therapeutics’ mission at HorizonTherapeutics.com.
David Hirsch: So you have four children, and then you adopted.
Brady Murray: Yeah, there was a five-year gap between Ridge and Mason, and we adopted Coop and he fit right in the middle there. It was just meant to be.
David Hirsch: Has anybody told you this is not logical?
Brady Murray: [laughing] Yes. All the time. [both laughing] We learned about a little boy who was abandoned on a street corner in a city of 14 million people when he was guesstimated to be about six months old. I can only guess it was because he has Down syndrome. And when we saw a picture of that little guy, we knew that he was our son.
Tom Couch: That’s our guest this week, Brady [00:01:00] Murray, a financial consultant from Salt Lake City. When most people say family’s important to them, it’s no doubt true. But in Brady Murray’s case, family is really important. That’s why he and his wife have seven children. Two with special needs, and two adopted, with four more adopted kids on the way. His is a truly inspirational story, and we’ll hear him tell it on this Special Fathers Network Dad to Dad Podcast. Say hello now to our host and the founder of the Special Fathers Network, David Hirsch.
David Hirsch: Hi, and thanks for listening to the Dad to Dad Podcast, fathers mentoring fathers of children with special needs, presented by the Special Fathers Network.
Tom Couch: The Special Fathers Network is a dad to dad mentoring program for fathers raising children with special needs. Through our personalized matching process, new fathers with special needs children connect with mentor fathers in a similar situation. It’s a great way for dads to support dads. To find out more, go to [00:02:00] 21stCenturyDads.org.
David Hirsch: And if you’re a dad looking for help or would like to offer help, we would be honored to have you join our closed Facebook group. Please go to Facebook.com, groups, and search “dad to dad.” Lastly, we’re always looking to share interesting stories. If you’d like to share your story or know of a compelling story, please send an email to David@21stCenturyDads.org.
Tom Couch: So let’s hear now this awe inspiring conversation between Brady Murray and David Hirsch.
David Hirsch: I’m thrilled to be talking today with Brady Murray of Salt Lake City, who’s a father of seven, a managing director at Capstone Partners, founder of RODS Heroes and the Special Abilities Network. Brady, thank you for taking the time to do an interview for the Special Fathers Network Dad to Dad Podcast.
Brady Murray: Excited to be here.
David Hirsch: You and your wife, Andrea, have been married for 21 years and are the proud parents of seven children. By age, they are: Brinsley 17, Nash 16, Ridge [00:03:00] 13, Cooper 11, Mason 8, Willow 6, and Olivia 5. Nash and Cooper have Down syndrome and you’re on the cusp of adopting four more children from Columbia.
Brady Murray: That is all correct. That sounds like a lot, just hearing you say that.
David Hirsch: It was tiring thinking. I’m like, oh my god, this is like a sports team, right? You’ve got so many people in your family, but it’s exciting.
Brady Murray: Yeah, we’ve got a DH and a relief pitcher.
David Hirsch: [laughing] I love it. Let’s start with some background. Where did you grow up? Tell me something about your family.
Brady Murray: Yeah, absolutely. So I grew up in the budding metropolis of Preston, Idaho. Southeast Idaho, really small town there. It was awesome. I loved everything about it. I played all sports. You have to living in a small town like that. Knew everybody and it was a great childhood. Really good childhood. Just like any childhood, there’s challenges and so forth and I think a lot of those experiences contributed to my [00:04:00] passion towards family today. But it was a special experience growing up in Preston.
David Hirsch: Yeah, thanks for mentioning that and I do remember that there wasn’t a straight line, right? When you were born your mom was remarried, and I’m wondering if you can provide a little bit of a backstory.
Brady Murray: Yeah, for sure. I was actually born Brady Gomez, and my mom was married to Danny Gomez, my birth father, and they got divorced when I was just a baby. And then my mom remarried Reed Murray when I was 4 years old, and Reed later adopted me when I was 13. Fast forward to today, I’m 45, and I have an incredible relationship with my adoptive father and I actually have a wonderful, incredible relationship with my birth father as well. So I’m one lucky guy that gets to say he has two fathers.
David Hirsch: Yeah, most people have to wait until they get to the grandfather level to say they have more than one. You are fortunate because each individual offers [00:05:00] different insights, different talents, different characteristics that we can all learn from. What did your dad or what did your dads do for a living?
Brady Murray: Yeah, Danny was a boilermaker and so he was a welder, traveled around all throughout the country. Worked long, long days. I remember him talking about six 10-hour days and getting one day off and he’d drive through the night to spend time with Tammy, his wife, and he has a boy and a girl, two kids. And then my dad, Reed, he worked at the local power company, and so he worked at a hydro plant up in a beautiful canyon up in the mountains, about a half an hour outside of Preston. I spent a lot of time up there in my childhood fishing and hiking and just spending time outside.
David Hirsch: That’s fabulous. So when you think about the relationship you have with both your dads, I’m wondering how you’d characterize that.
Brady Murray: It’s a good question. When I was young, we didn’t talk about my birth [00:06:00] father, and anytime that came up, that was a sensitive subject. And it was a day and an age where you just didn’t talk about that stuff. And I think that there maybe was some hope for my adopted father, that after I was adopted, that we would never reference that name again and that person again. And that’s just not something I felt was right. But that was a unique aspect there. But I had a great relationship with both dads, and they were super supportive of me just like a dad would be.
David Hirsch: Yeah, you’re the glass half full type of guy, I can tell. I appreciate that. I’m wondering if there’s some important takeaways if you think about Danny first and then Reed. What lessons come to mind when you think about each of them?
Brady Murray: I would say for Reed, I remember clearly there was a man that I met, I worked for him for a season. I was 16, 17, 18 years old. And I didn’t know him very [00:07:00] well. I just only worked for him for a couple of days at this point when he made this comment. But we were sitting at lunch one day and he said, Brady your dad, Reed, your dad is the nicest man I think I’ve ever met in my life. And he was very sincere and it was an unsolicited comment and that just stuck with me. I remembered that. I absolutely remembered that.
And what I would say about my dad Danny, and I don’t think my mom meant this necessarily as a compliment when she said it, but I think it’s an incredible attribute. She said, your dad is a workaholic. He worked. And he’s in his seventies now and that man still works. And I would say that he is the hardest working man I’ve ever met in my entire life. And I pride myself to be his son in considering his work ethic and I really want to emulate that work ethic in everything that I do on and off the field, so to speak.
David Hirsch: [00:08:00] Yeah, I love it. Thanks for sharing Reed being one of the nicest men you’ll ever meet and then work ethic that Danny has. And I think it is important to be kind and to give it all you have, right? And whatever your endeavor is, like you were saying, that those are good attributes to pass down to your kids as well.
So I’m thinking about other father influencers and I’m wondering what influence your grandfathers played first on your dad’s side and then on your mom’s side.
Brady Murray: Yeah, for sure. I got to meet my grandpa Gomez just as a child. He died when I was pretty young, but I do remember him. My grandpa Gomez, English was his second language and I remember he gave me a hard time because I had a little bit of a mullet going, and he liked to tease me about that, so I remember that. My other two grandfathers, my Grandpa Murray and my Grandpa Whitmore, that would be my mom’s father, I had wonderful, long-lasting relationships with them, and they both died after I was a father. And [00:09:00] so I spent a lot of time with them fishing and spending time in the outdoors. That’s a big part of our family heritage. And I just cherish those moments with my grandfathers.
David Hirsch: Yeah, you are very fortunate to have so many positive adult male role models in your life. Were there any others? Anybody else? A coach, a pastor, neighbors that played an influential role?
Brady Murray: There is one man in my life. Bill Hawkins is his name, lives in Colorado. And so when I was 19 years old, I chose to serve a mission for my church. And it was a two-year mission. You leave your family, you leave school, you leave friends, girlfriend, everything behind, and you go and you serve and consecrate yourself for two full years. I got called to serve in Peru, and so I went to Peru, I learned Spanish down there, and I loved every minute of it. It was not easy, it was extremely difficult actually, but I loved it. One of the things that I loved the most about it [00:10:00] was the relationship that I was able to develop with my, what’s referred to as my mission president, and that’s Bill Hawkins.
And so I know him as President Hawkins. I still call him President Hawkins. But he was an absolute father figure to me. He is a man of faith, and he is a man that has a deep belief and conviction towards God and towards Jesus Christ. And he was my example for that. And I just cherish that still to this day.
David Hirsch: So my recollection was you went to Utah State University and when you graduated, I’m wondering, where did you think your career was going to take you?
Brady Murray: When I got back from my mission, I remember people asking me, what do you want to do professionally now? And I’d done my freshman year of college before my mission. And so I was ready to get back into it. And I remember saying, I want to do exactly what I’ve just done over the last two years. If I could somehow incorporate a way to be a missionary and go and [00:11:00] encourage people, inspire the heart and just try and be a good steward of time and energy and resources in the service of others, that’s what I want to do.
I said, I wonder if there’s a way I could get paid to do something like that, because I want to have a family someday. And it wasn’t a short time after that, that I had a professor at Utah State, Vance Grange, tell me about the profession of financial planning. And I started to explore what that would look like, and I found so many similarities between the success that makes a missionary successful and what would make a financial planner successful.
And so it was my sophomore year at Utah State University that I found financial planning. I went and got licensed, got an internship, thankfully. Worked my sophomore, junior and senior year. And I literally have not done anything since then. That was 20, what, 21 years ago. I haven’t looked back since, so I love this career.
David Hirsch: Yeah. That’s one of the things that we have in common. It wasn’t my first job out of college, but it was my [00:12:00] second job out of college to be an advisor. And it’s been now for 38 plus years, in some cases with the same clients for the better part of four decades. And it’s not something that everybody feels called to do, but it is an exciting career. Every day is different from the next. And you’d have a strong sense of accomplishment to help people plan for retirement or their children or grandchildren’s education, or when you get to be a little bit further down the road, people are philanthropic, right? They’re trying to match their resources with their values and trying to make an impact in the community. So we could probably have a whole other conversation, but not on this podcast.
Brady Murray: That’s right.
David Hirsch: So I’m curious to know, how did you and Andrea meet?
Brady Murray: When I got back from Peru, I hadn’t gone on a date for two years. I hadn’t talked to a girl in two years other than through missionary type of conversations. So I just felt strongly [00:13:00] that I wanted to someday have a family. And I really was not interested in engaging in the college scene and dating a bunch of girls. I really wanted to find a girl that I felt like I could spend the rest of my life with. And so that was my mindset coming back from my mission and starting college.
I had a friend that I talked to about this and I told him my idea on this. And he said, there’s a girl in my biology class that I’d love to introduce you to. She’s awesome. She’s somebody that is just a very special person and it was through Cameron that we got the introduction made and I met Andrea and I am not exaggerating. I knew that this was the girl I wanted to marry within just a few minutes of meeting her. And it was a very spiritual experience and very special experience for me. I will say it was not like that for her. It took her a little longer to warm up to me. [both [00:14:00] laughing] But we fortunately were able to see that we should spend the rest of our life together and you know that was 21 years ago as well.
David Hirsch: That’s wild. I love the story. Thank you for sharing.
I’d like to talk about special needs first on a personal level and then beyond. You have biological children and adopted children. So there’s not one way to do this. But before starting your family, did you or Andrea have any connection to the world of disability or special needs?
Brady Murray: We didn’t. You know what’s funny about that, is we had zero connection to that. But, as you’re probably finding, I’m very much a believer in faith and just intuition. And I believe that God has and is willing to guide us. And so when Andrea and I were dating, and again, we had zero interaction or [00:15:00] background in special needs. I remember we were on the campus of Utah State, and I was walking to class one day and I saw a sign advertising a special needs dance. And so I remember seeing that and thinking, Andrea is the type of person that I know I can take to that dance. And so I asked her. And I said, you want to go to this dance? And she said, you know what? I do! Let’s go to that. And we went and I didn’t get a dance with her once the whole night, because she was a popular gal there with the other special – I like to call them special abilities – participants. And I was a pretty popular guy for the girls that were there. And we just danced to our heart’s content with those in wheelchairs and those that have Down syndrome and everything else is a super special experience. And I had no way of knowing that special needs would be a pretty special part of our life in the future. But it felt right to take her to that dance, and I’m glad I did.
David Hirsch: It sounds like it [00:16:00] was a little foreshadowing.
Brady Murray: Yeah. Yeah, I think so.
David Hirsch: That’s fabulous. Thank you for sharing. Nash is your second born and he’s 16 and he has Down syndrome. So I’m wondering, what’s the backstory? How did his birth and diagnosis come about?
Brady Murray: We had one little girl, Brinley, and we had a really hard time getting her into this world. We had multiple miscarriages and went multiple years without having a child. And so when we welcomed Brinley into this world, we said let’s just see if we can get another child in here as soon as we can. And lo and behold, it was only a matter of a few months and we were expecting Nash. We found out that he was gonna be a little boy and we were so excited. And as a dad, growing up in Southeast Idaho and sports and fishing and outdoors and all those things that you envisioned with your son.
I’ll never forget it was a very hot July early morning, about [00:17:00] 2am that we went to the hospital. Nash was born after Andrea did an amazing job through labor about 10am. And I was doing everything that a dad does, taking pictures and making little videos. And I checked him out. He looked great to me, 10 fingers, 10 toes. Looked perfect to me. But I noticed that the doctor and the nurses we’re pretty quiet after Nash was born. And as they were checking him out, they’re whispering back and forth to one another. And about ten minutes after Nash was born, the doctor came over to me, put his arm around me, and whispered to me, Brady, I think that your son has Down syndrome. And that was the first that I’d heard of that. It’s still very raw to me, even 16 years later, and it is something I’m very thankful for, but it definitely shook my world like you can’t believe.
David Hirsch: Yeah, you didn’t find out in vitro. That’s what I heard you say. It was at the time of birth.
Brady Murray: That’s right.
David Hirsch: Did you know what Down syndrome was? What was your [00:18:00] immediate reaction or what was going on in your and Andrea’s minds?
Brady Murray: I had classmates, a few classmates, that had Down syndrome. There was a little boy that I knew when I was a little boy that was in my class, Patrick, and he was a nice boy. But I really didn’t have any point of reference on what that meant.
I actually remember Googling in the delivery room. I got my phone out, it was like a palm trio or something that I could have internet access. And I was Googling Down syndrome, and what popped up was things that shouldn’t be what a dad reads when he just found out that his son has Down syndrome.
And I remember having a very strong sense of fear, but also like a fire that just grew in me I couldn’t explain to protect this child and to help this child and to work and [00:19:00] dedicate my life to helping this child to never have to experience some of the stuff that I read in that delivery room. So that was my intro there.
David Hirsch: Yeah, I can just tell from the quiver in your voice that it’s still a palpable experience. Was there any advice you got early on that helped take the edge off of that.
Brady Murray: I love and I’m so thankful for our doctor, Dr. Heiner, because this is not common. And still to this day, I think doctors struggle with this. But I remember after I had talked to Andrea and we were both pretty emotional. Andrea was a lot better than me. Actually, she really wasn’t even that emotional. But I was the one that was super emotional. I remember Dr. Heiner coming up to me and putting his arm around both Andrea and I and saying, you guys take this little boy home and love this boy just like you would any other of your kids because he’s just a little boy and he’s just gonna go and he’s gonna do a great [00:20:00] job and you guys just treat him and love him just like you would anybody else. And I thought that was such great advice and was actually pretty calming for me, hearing that from Dr. Heiner.
David Hirsch: Yeah. You’d like to think that everybody would hear the same message at the time that their child’s born regardless of what the diagnosis is. And that’s not just to say everything’s going to be okay with some certainty.
Brady Murray: Yeah.
David Hirsch: But I think the message was you just want to take them home and love them and raise them. Don’t treat your kids any differently, don’t differentiate.
Brady Murray: That’s right.
David Hirsch: It’s not to have unrealistic expectations. It’s just to say celebrate the fact that you have a child.
Brady Murray: That’s right.
David Hirsch: Don’t be disappointed. Don’t think of them as lesser than. And once you get on the right path, everything seems to be a little bit easier. Not without challenges, but a little bit easier. Thanks for sharing.[00:21:00]
Let’s go to Cooper, who is now 11. And Cooper was not born into your family. What led to Cooper’s adoption and him entering your family?
Brady Murray: Andrea and I have a belief in this concept, in this principle of serving the pain that you know best. We believe that life entrusts us with experiences. Some we choose, and some we don’t choose. Some experiences are amazing, and ones we want to experience over and over, and others are ones that we wouldn’t wish on our worst enemy. And so when life entrusts us with experiences and that causes pain, we believe wholeheartedly in this idea of serving the pain that we know best.
And so life entrusted us with Nash that created some pain for me internally. And it was something I had to work through. And the way I did that was by leaning into anything and everything Down syndrome. And so we became active in every support group, [00:22:00] every organization, club that has to do with Down syndrome. We became a huge raving fan of all things Down syndrome. And that was a very healing process for us doing that.
It was through that process that we learned about what happens to children that have special needs like Down syndrome in many developing countries. And we learned that those children oftentimes are abandoned. And they go to an orphanage, they go to a mental institution, and that’s where they stay for the rest of their life.
And I saw pictures of kids that were the age of my son – Nash was four at the time – that were just destitute and crib-ridden and skin and bones. And I couldn’t unsee that. And I would not allow another day to go on without me doing something to help these children. And so it was through that advocacy work that we’re doing for children that have Down syndrome or other special needs [00:23:00] that we felt called in our hearts to consider adopting a child with Down syndrome.
And I’ll tell you, Andrea was the first one to bring that to me, that idea of, hey, let’s potentially adopt a child and not just a child, but a child with Down syndrome. And I’ll tell you, that didn’t pass the smell test for me. That was not logical. We had a child with that. That was just not logical. Sometimes the greatest experiences in life are not logical.
And I respect Andrea and I love her and I knew that she was serious about this and that I owed it to her to do what I do when I make important decisions in my life and to seriously ponder this. And as I did, in my quiet moments, I knew as well that we were supposed to adopt a child with Down syndrome.
And so we did the research and we felt like China was the right place to go. We learned about a little [00:24:00] boy who was abandoned on a street corner in a city of 14 million people when he was guesstimated to be about six months old. I can only guess it was because he has Down syndrome. And when we saw a picture of that little guy, we knew that he was our son and that we needed to travel across the world to go bring our son home. And so we did that in 2016. We adopted Coop when he was four. And I tell you, life’s been a party ever since.
David Hirsch: So just to go back a little bit, and thank you for sharing. Brinley, firstborn, natural child, Nash. second born, natural child. Ridge, 13, natural born.
Brady Murray: We had Mason as well.
David Hirsch: So you have four children and then you adopted.
Brady Murray: Yeah, there’s a five year gap between Ridge and Mason and we adopted Coop and he fit right in the middle there. It’s just meant to be.
David Hirsch: Has anybody told you this is not logical?
Brady Murray: [laughing] Yes. All the [00:25:00] time. [both laughing]
David Hirsch: Okay, my hats off to you and Andrea especially for not just opening your home, but more importantly opening your hearts. What a role model you are to so many others. That puts you on your special needs journey. Now you have two boys with Down syndrome. Your heart’s swelling. You still continue to have children. Willow and Olivia. It sounds like you still feel the calling, right? Your family’s not complete.
Brady Murray: Yeah.
David Hirsch: And I’m wondering if we can talk about your upcoming adoption or hope for adoption of these four young Colombian children.
Brady Murray: Yes. I think it’s important that we touch on Willow and Libby. So with Coop, that gave us five. We knew we weren’t going to have any more children biologically. Andrea’s uterus actually ruptured when Mason was born and that was a terrifying experience. But thankfully baby and mom were okay, which was a tender mercy, but we knew we weren’t [00:26:00] having any more biological children.
So that gave us five, and a couple years later Andrea once again came to me and asked me how I felt about foster care. And I would say that if my reaction was, hey, that’s not logical with Cooper, I would say my reaction with considering foster care was visceral, was not something I wanted to do. It took me a good year, almost two years, to work through that, but in the end I knew it was something we were supposed to do, and we fostered Will and Libby, not with the intention to adopt them at first, but we fostered them for a couple of years before we had the opportunity to be able to consider adoption. So we adopted them after three years of fostering them, so that gave us seven. That’s a good number, seven, right? Lucky number seven.
David Hirsch: Yeah it’s remarkable. So you went from being biological parents to adoptive parents to fostering. For most people, their plate would be totally full by [00:27:00] having as many children as you’ve had. Now you’ve opened your home to a couple of foster children, in addition to having two boys with Down syndrome.
Brady Murray: 100 percent accurate.
David Hirsch: Okay, so are you homeschooling, or are they mainstreamed, or what’s the secret sauce here? People want to know.
Brady Murray: It sounds crazy, but with the seven, it’s pretty normal. They all go to school, and they’re all playing sports, and doing plays, and dancing, and we have friends over all the time, and our kids are over at their friends all the time, and we play a lot of baseball in the backyard, we have barbecues, they swim. It’s pretty normal, pretty typical. And I know that’s probably maybe not logical for somebody that has one or two kids to try and fathom seven. But for whatever reason, it’s been pretty good for us, pretty straightforward. I will say our kids are tremendous teammates to each other. They [00:28:00] love each other. They are each other’s best friends. They’re just good teammates to each other.
David Hirsch: Yeah, it’s amazing. So having raised five children who are now 26 to 34, we were challenged by getting them from point A to point B.
Brady Murray: Yeah, real things. [laughing]
David Hirsch: Suburbans, Yukon XLs… if you don’t mind me asking, what type of vehicles are you and Andrea driving?
Brady Murray: We have been driving a Yukon XL. That’s nine, and there’s eight seat belts, and so we have to get creative that way. Our oldest daughter does drive. And so she’s been a big help to us. And a lot of times we drive two cars when we go somewhere. But yeah, Yukon XL, all day long.
David Hirsch: Yeah we actually had two. So either one of us could take the whole family if we needed to. Because it wasn’t always just our kids. It was, like you said, friends of friends type of thing, too. Anyway, I’m out of breath. But, there’s more, right? Because you guys haven’t closed the door yet. So what’s the deal with these children in Columbia?
Brady Murray: Through our advocacy [00:29:00] work that we do with RODS Heroes, we had a trip that we took to Columbia last July. The purpose of the trip was to go and capture stories of children in need of adoption. Children with special needs or other unique circumstances, like large sibling groups, older kids. And we traveled all throughout Columbia. We were clear on the very southern end of Columbia, down by the Ecuadorian border. And had to take a plane ride to get there, and then a big long bus ride, and we’re clear in the middle of nowhere.
And we met these four kids that we went to see. We learned that… This is gonna be hard to get through with it so near on my heart. But we learned that they had had a very rough childhood and that they had been formally taken into custody of the state about two years before that. And we learned about the unique challenges that they had all growing up. There was two boys and two girls, all siblings, ages 16, 14, 12, and [00:30:00] 10. You have an idea on what the situation is going to be like before you meet these kids, just based on their background. And I remember walking down this dirt road towards their house and hadn’t seen him yet. You get to the house and I look at the door and the door opens and out pops four beautiful children. And it was very different than what I would have expected.
We spent the next three hours with them just capturing content, storytelling, etc. Because again, the idea behind our foundation is to inspire families to answer the call to adopt. We were capturing this content to be able to help inspire a family to adopt them. And I’ll never forget as we were driving away, quite emotional after the experience with these very special kids. And we were quiet and Andrea just looking forward and really didn’t say it to anybody. She just said it out loud. She said, if we don’t get a [00:31:00] family for those kids, we’re going to adopt them. I thought, I got to get to work! [both laughing] We have to find these kids a family! I just didn’t have the foresight to be able to really process what it would be like.
We went a couple of months. We had 12 families inquire about adopting them. One by one, each one fell through. And we got to September. It was early one morning. Andrea and I were studying and just quiet. It was still dark out. I just had the strongest feeling come over me that we should adopt again. And it was exciting. We had seen 43 different children in Columbia on that trip. There were some awesome kids and I thought this will be great.
I thought about it for a few minutes and I went to Andrea and I said, honey, this is what I’m feeling. What do you think? And she said, I’m so glad! I’ve been waiting for you to feel that for the last couple [00:32:00] of weeks cause I’ve felt it for a while. And we knew we were going to adopt. And so she said who do you think we should adopt? And I thought yeah, let’s think about this. And there was a couple of boys, just little boys, eight and nine year old boys that I just bonded with so well. I loved them and I had named a few of them. And she said, honey, no. We’re supposed to adopt those four kids. And that’s a lot! That was a lot to take in. But just like in the times before, it took me a couple of days to process that, but I knew she was right.
And so we committed, and that was about a year ago. And we will be traveling to Colombia in three weeks on October 2nd to be able to meet our children again and they’ll be with us, and we’ll spend a month in Colombia. That’s a requirement to adopt them and they’ll be with us for the rest of their lives.
I don’t know how this story ends, but [laughing] it’s a [00:33:00] little bit wild for sure. But I know it’s something we’re supposed to do, and so I’m leaning into it.
David Hirsch: Yeah I’m almost speechless. It’s just an amazing story of faith and opening your hearts and your home. And it’s one thing to say, oh, we think people should adopt. It’s another thing to walk the walk. From your lips to God’s ears, I’m hoping that everything will go smoothly, and that these four children who would be about the same age as your children, right? It’s not like they’re older or they’re younger. In fact, you’ll have Mason, Willow, and Olivia will all be younger than these four.
Brady Murray: That’s right.
David Hirsch: And we’re gonna have to check back in on you guys.
Brady Murray: I think that’d be a good repeat podcast in a year from now and say, how’s this going? Because I got to tell you, 11 kids even in Utah is a little weird. So the Yukon XL [00:34:00] is not holding 11 kids. We’ve actually upgraded to a Sprinter van, which is a little controversial because that’s a 12 passenger. And we still don’t have enough seatbelts. We got 13 that we need between Andrea and I and 11 kids. So we’ll have to get creative.
David Hirsch: Yeah I was going to guess it was a Sprinter van. So thank you for preempting that.
Tom Couch: We’ll be back with more of the conversation on the Special Fathers Network Dad to Dad Podcast in just a few moments. But first, this quick message. Please help 21st Century Dads gather research on families raising children with special needs by having them complete the Special Fathers Network Early Intervention Parents Survey. A link to the survey can be found in the show notes. As a token of our appreciation, each person, mom or dad, who completes the survey will receive a Great Dad Coin. Thank you. Now, back to the conversation.
David Hirsch: Let’s shift gears and talk about RODS Heroes. What’s the [00:35:00] backstory? What was your original vision for that?
Brady Murray: When we learned about these kids, and what happens to these kids with Down syndrome and other special needs in these developing countries when they’re born we knew we were supposed to do something, and we weren’t sure what it was, exactly. We researched it, and we found out that one of the biggest challenges and why these kids are not in homes is actually the financial burden of international adoption. On average, it’s about $40,000. We learned that there’s actually a lot of families that want to adopt. They just simply can’t afford it. And we thought If money is the only thing standing in the way of these kids getting adopted, let’s try and do a little fundraiser and see what happens.
And so we chose a little boy named Eli. He was in Lithuania. He was four at the time, has Down syndrome, had never been inquired about for adoption. In fact, at that point in time, there had never been a single adoption in the entire country in the history of Lithuania of a child with Down syndrome from an international family. [00:36:00] And I thought, you know what? We like to do hard things. Let’s see what comes of this. And we started to fundraise. It was during Christmas time. And we told all our family and friends, hey, don’t get us gifts. Donate to Eli’s adoption grant. And in a short period of time, we witnessed a miracle and we learned that we had raised $20,000 for Eli. We put that out to the universe and advertise that he has this adoption grant. And within two weeks we had a family committed to adopt him.
David Hirsch: Oh my gosh.
Brady Murray: And he’s home. I’ve met him. I love him. He’s been home over 10 years. He’s just a gem. To see that little boy that was stuck in an orphanage, that little superhero that just needed somebody to give him a shot, just somebody to give him the cape. And to see him sing the song he’s meant to sing these last 10 years has been pretty incredible.
And so when that happened, we thought, that was so cool, let’s do it again. And you only have so many family and friends to ask to donate to an adoption grant, so we had to get creative. [00:37:00] And Andrea said, hey, you’ve always wanted to do an Ironman triathlon. What if you did an Ironman triathlon to help one of these kids get adopted? And I still remember I looked at her and I said, why don’t YOU do an Ironman triathlon to help one of these kids? [both laughing] I admit I wanted to, kind of a bucket list, maybe someday do that. But I had never… Like I’d done a kiddie triathlon, swim to the end of the pool, run to the end of the street, bike around the block type stuff. The thought of doing a full Ironman was a lot, but I learned very quickly that when you allow yourself to get caught up in a cause bigger than yourself, you will witness miracles.
And I committed to doing an Ironman. I started to train, heavily trained for a number of months. And we had a miracle happen. We got an invite for me to race in the Ironman World Championship in Kona, [00:38:00] Hawaii. And Ironman told us that they were going to feature our story on NBC about why we were doing this.
[Audio insert from NBC]
For over three decades, the big island of Hawaii has been home to the world’s most grueling day in sport, the Ironman World Championship. This is Brady Murray. Today is not about him.
As a father of a child with Down syndrome, I had no idea that there were orphans throughout the entire world that are essentially abandoned at birth simply because of their disability. And knowing that literally there are hundreds if not thousands of orphans with Down syndrome throughout the world, and seeing this as an opportunity to be able to race for them, I jumped at it. And I thought, you know what? I may not be able to do an Ironman for myself, but I know I can do one for these kids. I know from experience as a father of a son with Down syndrome that the biggest blessing is not the child getting a family. [00:39:00] It’s the family that’s going to get that child. They’ll receive the biggest blessing in this.
[End of audio excerpt]
God knows what he’s doing. He knows. When you put your will in His will that He’s going to help you. He’s going to create miracles for you. And so we did that. I finished the race, survived it. It was a great race. They featured the story and we had people from all over the world reaching out to us saying we want to do this. We want to help these kids. We are triathletes. We want to help. We’ll run. That’s when the inception of this idea of creating a non profit to help these kids was started.
That’s where the name came from: RODS stands for Racing for Orphans with Down Syndrome. And that’s how it all began. That was over 10 years ago, and we are just shy, I think we’re at 97, if I’m not mistaken, 97 children with Down syndrome that have been adopted so far. And we’ve got a couple [00:40:00] dozen in the process right now that don’t have Down syndrome and have other special needs that are in the adoption process right now as well.
David Hirsch: Wow. There’s a lot of things that are illogical about your life, Brady.
Brady Murray: That’s right. [laughing]
David Hirsch: Add to the list that you would do the Ironman triathlon first before Half Ironman, before the Olympic distance, or before the sprint distance. Which, again, you and I have spoken before, I’m maybe a little bit more logical. People who don’t do triathlons don’t understand, right? If I had to explain you wouldn’t understand anyway, but you know you build up to these things, right? That’s the logical thing to do as opposed to parachute into the World Championship. So just to timestamp this, how old were you when you did that Ironman triathlon?
Brady Murray: 34.
David Hirsch: Wow. And have you done one since then?
Brady Murray: I’ve done a bunch of halves since then. I haven’t done another full, but a lot of halves, a lot of marathons, and [00:41:00] I haven’t towed the line in Kona again, so maybe when I’m 60.
David Hirsch: [laughing] It’s a disease. No, disease makes it sound like it’s a bad thing, like you want to get rid of it. It’s an affliction. That’s what it is.
Brady Murray: That’s right.
David Hirsch: I did my first Ironman when I was 49. Once I turned 60 a couple years ago, I said, I just want to see if I’ve got a little gas left in the tank, just to see if I can get my butt across the finish line, and I did. And the way I’m thinking about this is that, like George Bush I jumped out of airplanes every decade, like on his 60th, his 70th and his 80th birthday…
Brady Murray: Yep.
David Hirsch: I’m thinking maybe I’ll wait until I’m 70 to do my next Ironman. Yeah.
Brady Murray: I like that.
David Hirsch: That’s what I’m thinking.
Brady Murray: I like that. I’m going to follow your example. I think you’re a great role model for me.
David Hirsch: Let’s talk a little bit more about RODS Heroes. Obviously there’s adoption focus with the Heroes Grants, and I’m just totally on board with what you’re doing. And 97 adoptions and growing, so you have an amazing track [00:42:00] record that you’ve created. And I’m hoping that that’ll just continue to blossom and blossom. But what are the Heroes Clubs?
Brady Murray: That’s a great question. So Heroes Club is actually a summer running program that we have. I personally believe that the rising generation will become the nurturers of the generation to follow. I look at RODS Heroes as an organization that’s going to live long past me. Problems that we’re trying to solution as it relates to children without families getting families is something that is a generational problem that I know is going to be something we’ve got to figure out past me. And so we created Heroes Club with the idea of nurturing that rising generation.
And so last year was the first year we did it. We had over a thousand children in Utah dedicate their running every single day, five days a week. Throughout the summer, they met at the park and ran. They ran, we had a goal to run all the way around the world. We ran over 25,000 miles and [00:43:00] those kids single handedly raised over $50,000 for orphaned children like them that need a family. I’m a visionary, and I feel like this is a program that can engulf the entire world. So it’s something I’m super passionate about.
David Hirsch: I love it. Thank you for sharing. And another program you have is called the Hosting Program. What is that?
Brady Murray: When we were in Columbia the second time we went down there in October, we spent a day and a half in an institute. There was around 45 children, if I’m not mistaken; it was over 40. All of these kids were typical kids. They didn’t have special needs. And that was different for me, because we had only advocated for special needs kids up to that point. Those kids communicate with you, those special needs kids communicate with you, but it’s not through words, they communicate with their eyes. But you ask them a question, they’re not going to answer you with words. These kids that we just spent a day and a half with, they did. And when you ask [00:44:00] them, what’s your biggest goal that you want to accomplish? What’s your dreams? And they look at you in the eye and say, I just want a mom and a dad. I just want a family to call my own. That’s my biggest dream. You have a 14 year old kid telling you that, that does something to you.
And see in Colombia, in most countries, they age out at age 16. So if a child’s not adopted by age 16, they’re done. Like they never will be adopted. And so we’ve got all these kids that we are advocating for, and that we need to find a family for. And we came up with the idea of let’s work with Columbia and let’s bring them to Utah and we’ll get families to host them for us for a summer, for two or three weeks. And it was a long shot, but we proposed the idea and lo and behold, we had 10 kids come to Utah this last summer, spent three weeks with us and had amazing families.
As of right now, we have families committed to adopting five of those [00:45:00] ten, and I won’t stop until I get those other five committed with a family as well. I would say it was a great opportunity because those families, that’s a tall order to adopt a child that doesn’t speak your language, that’s 14 years old, they all come from trauma. But it’s another one, they come spend a couple weeks with you in your house and you realize, you know what? This is a kid just like my other kids. They just need a shot. They just need a family to give them a shot. And so it was a pretty cool program.
David Hirsch: I love it. I’m hoping it’ll continue. So another project, if I can call it that, or program, is something you’re calling First Pitch with Cooper. What’s the backstory on that, and how has that blossomed?
Brady Murray: This is crazy. As I have said, when you allow yourself to get caught up in a cause bigger than yourself, you’re going to witness miracles, and we’re witnessing a miracle right now. Coop’s my little boy we adopted from China. Coop, we’ve found, is a really good athlete. Like he’s an outgoing [00:46:00] kid, but he’s a good athlete too. And he loves baseball. We’re a big baseball family.
And so we had a really cool thing transpire last fall where a spouse of a pitcher for the Chicago Cubs… So Justin Steele and Libby Steele reached out to us through our TikTok channel of all things. And said, hey, we love what you guys are doing. We’ve been following you. We’d love to help. And we talked to them and they invited us to come down to spring training this last year in Arizona. And it was a last minute thing as we were going down to spring training to spend some time with the Steeles that we thought, hey, you think Coop could throw out a first pitch at a spring training game? And they said, yeah, let’s do it! And they made arrangements and Coop went out there and he had his RODS Heroes superhero cape on and his whole baseball gear. And he went running out on the field and they announced, “Now pitching, Cooper Murray!”
And you’ll find with Cooper, the boy’s a showman. He’s made for the big stage. And when he heard his name [00:47:00] over the loudspeaker and people started cheering for him, it just triggered something for him. So he starts waving and just hamming it up with the crowd and people are just loving it. Then he gets serious. It’s time to pitch. Then he leans in and gets a sign and comes set and does this big leg kick and throws a perfect strike and everybody goes crazy.
So he starts jumping up and down, celebrating right there on the infield and I’m like, this is awesome! Dream come true, right? The Cubs saw that and the Cubs came to us after and said, that was awesome. We want you to come to Wrigley. We want you to come to Wrigley and throw out a pitch in a regular season game. So we went on May 29th, Memorial Day this year. Coop threw out the first pitch and just crushed it.
[Audio and organ music from Wrigley field loudspeaker announcer]
Ladies and gentlemen, please direct your attention to the Wrigley Field pitcher’s mound for today’s ceremonial first pitches. Brandon and Andrea Murray answered a call to adopt Cooper in 2016 and he’s [00:48:00] been a source of light and joy to their family since. Please welcome Cooper Murray!
[End of audio from Wrigley field]
And it was packed and people just loved him and so we’ve got these pictures of him standing on the mound, waving to everybody. And he does his whole thing and warm up, throws a perfect strike, celebrates like he just won the World Series. And it, to a certain degree, went viral. Two weeks later, we got an invite to go throw out the first pitch at Fenway and after that one I thought, I think we’ve got lightning in a bottle! And we came up with this campaign for Coop to throw out the first pitch in all 30 MLB stadiums.
But the reason why we want to do it is so that Coop could help 30 kids that have Down syndrome like him be able to be adopted. And so the goal is we want to raise a $40,000 sponsorship [00:49:00] for each first pitch because that’s the equivalent of an adoption grant for these kids. And we want Coop to throw out the first pitch in all 30 MLB stadiums.
And so we’ve got the Cubs, we’ve got the Red Sox. We threw out the first pitch at a Braves game about a month ago which was epic. And we’re going to New York in a couple of days to throw out the first pitch at a Mets game. And so we recognize it’s gonna take us a couple years to be able to accomplish this goal. But that’s the First Pitch campaign.
David Hirsch: Wow. I’m just flabbergasted. So it started with the Cubs.
Brady Murray: Yep.
David Hirsch: In Chicago. Go Cubs! Then the Red Sox, then the Braves, and did you say the Yankees?
Brady Murray: The Mets.
David Hirsch: Oh, the Mets, sorry. Okay. Four down, 26 to go. That’s what I hear you saying.
Brady Murray: You got it. That’s right.
David Hirsch: And if it was like 13 a year, it would take you two years.
Brady Murray: I think it’ll take us two to three years, for sure. And I’m not in a hurry to get it all done in a month. This is a [00:50:00] pretty cool thing. And when we go to these cities, we really try and reach out to the local organizations, the Down syndrome organizations, especially these organizations, and be able to work with them and seek ways to be able to help them. We always try and find a local child if possible to be able to advocate for, which is an important thing, a child in foster care. And we really try and make this a great win for everybody.
David Hirsch: I love it. Thank you for sharing. And one other thing before we move on. What’s the deal with this rookie card?
Brady Murray: Aha! So every big league player’s got to have a baseball card, right? [David laughing] So Coop has his own first edition rookie card that we created for him. Has all of his stats on there:, he’s 4’4″, whatever he weighs, 80 pounds, bats left, throws right, and all the information about Coop on there. It’s been really a hot commodity actually. People have really taken a liking to it, in particular, when they get Cooper to autograph it. And we’ve [00:51:00] put a campaign together that anybody that donates to RODS Heroes gets a free Cooper Murray rookie card signed. So pretty cool thing.
David Hirsch: I love it. Okay, I’m gonna have to get one of those. We have a few minutes left. I want to talk about the Special Abilities Network. What’s the backstory? What’s going on there?
Brady Murray: So under the same concept of serving the pain that we know best, when Nash turned 13 years old, I had an awakening. I remember sitting at his birthday party and thinking, Nash is a teenager now. And it’s all fun and games and it’s fun when they’re just little cute guys and they’re with you and everything’s great.
But I came to a realization that Nash is going to be 18 before I know it. And I’m a CFP. I’ve been practicing for my entire career. And I felt like we had a really good financial plan. But as I thought about it, we have a really good traditional financial plan, but we had [00:52:00] a very poor special needs plan. What was going to happen to Nash at 18 and how do we make sure that everything’s gonna be okay? And more importantly, when Andrea and I aren’t here to take care of Nash, what’s our plan for that? And so I have a degree in accounting, but I’ve never once done my own taxes. I’ve always paid a professional CPA to do it. And it was the same idea of saying I’m going to find a special needs planner, somebody that specializes exclusively in special needs planning to work with me, the CFP, to get my planning in place.
I looked all over our state. I couldn’t find anybody I felt comfortable with. I looked all over the country and found very few special needs planners that I felt could do a good job for our family. And so again, an entrepreneurial mind on this saying there’s an opportunity.
I asked a bunch of family members or friends that have kids with special needs. They said, we have no idea on what we’re doing. Can you help us? And so that was the idea of saying, look, here’s an [00:53:00] opportunity to be able to create an organization that exclusively focuses on special needs planning with the advisors. That is their specialty.
And so that was the idea that was created and fast forward now to where we are right now. We’ve got an incredible team of specialists that are all parents of special needs children, that are all chartered special needs consultants or CFPs that really do have an expertise on this. And the mission is to give every family in America that’s entrusted with a loved one with special needs the opportunity to get the planning they need and they deserve. So that’s what we do with Special Abilities Network.
David Hirsch: I love it. So how many states do you have covered then? Because I know that the laws state to state are important.
Brady Murray: That’s actually a great question. That was one of the biggest hurdles that we wanted to overcome as we started. And so what we have done is we’ve actually partnered with other organizations that will specialize in each state to make sure that the benefits are in correlation with the planning. [00:54:00] And so we’ve actually worked with individuals from most states at this point in time. And we’ve got a great team, a great partnership with other organizations to make sure we’re getting the benefits all dialed in on the state specific.
David Hirsch: Excellent. And that information is all at the Special Abilities Network website, correct?
Brady Murray: That’s right.
David Hirsch: Excellent. So I’m thinking about advice now. What advice comes to mind as it relates to that young parent, specifically a dad, who has just gotten that diagnosis or realizes that his child has special abilities?
Brady Murray: I would say, first and foremost, I would say it’s okay if you feel sad. I’d say it’s okay if you even feel a little bit mad or disappointed. I’d say that’s all normal, that’s okay. But I would also say to lean into it, brother, because you just won the lottery. [00:55:00] It’s in a way that is very difficult to describe and it’s not logical. But I can just simply speak to it from experience. That little boy or that little girl was entrusted into your family. They were entrusted into your family for a reason, that it was not happen chance that you were entrusted with this little guy or this little girl. And then if you will lean into this and serve that pain that you know best, you will witness miracles, and you will see some very special things transpire in your life.
David Hirsch: Yeah I love it. The simple message is to lean into it. And you didn’t use the word accept your child for who they are, but, that’s the implication. And I love the imagery that goes along with winning the lottery, right? And embracing that. Thank you for sharing.
Brady Murray: 100%.
David Hirsch: Why is it that you’ve agreed to be a mentor father as part of the Special Fathers Network?
Brady Murray: I just love, love, love all things special need. It’s who I am. [00:56:00] It’s part of my DNA. It’s part of my life’s calling, my life’s work, I would say. And I recognize that it’s not an easy path to be a part of and the opportunity to be able to serve others who just need a helping hand, just like I was in that role. I was in those shoes when I first started down this path. It’s an honor to get to be able to serve others.
David Hirsch: Yeah. We’re thrilled to have you. Thank you. And especially given the full plate or perception of a full plate that you and Andrea have. Is there anything else you’d like to say before we wrap up?
Brady Murray: I read something yesterday that just struck me, and I want to share it. It’s a new concept in my mind as it relates to articulating it, but it is something that just spoke to my soul. The title of it said, Three Lives. And it said, your first life is you’re trying to avoid the life that you don’t want to live. And your second life [00:57:00] is you’re wanting to live the life that you do want to live. And when I read that, I thought fishing in Alaska, [laughing] vacationing on a beach, the life that we want to live. But that third life being the life that God wants you to live. And when I read that, I just reflected back to a lot of things and a lot of decisions that I’ve made that were not logical. That just were not logical. It didn’t coincide with the vision on what I envisioned retirement to be or what I envisioned fun to be after a hard career of work. But I would say those decisions and those experiences that I’m having from making some of those illogical and just unique decisions have brought so much peace and happiness and joy to me and my family that I just simply can’t, or I have a hard time articulating it and putting into words. [00:58:00] And so I would just encourage others to remember that concept of getting caught up in a cause bigger than yourself, because I promise that’s not a principle that’s exclusive to me. That’s a principle that’s universal for all mankind. And I just feel strongly that all of us have a calling. All of us have a path, and that’s in the service of other people. So that’s what I would say.
David Hirsch: Well said. Thank you for those words of wisdom. The three lives that you are contemplating living. The one you want to avoid, the one you want to live, and then the one God’s called you to be. Thank you.
So if somebody wants to learn more about RODS Heroes or contact you, what’s the best way to do that?
Brady Murray: That’s a great question. I am one that I actually love talking to people. I love making connections and so I always would say reach out to me on my Instagram. I love sharing our family’s journey on my Instagram. It’s BradyMurray21. And I would also say keep an eye out [00:59:00] and check out what we’re doing on the RODS Heroes Instagram; it’s just @RODSHeroes. We have some awesome stories that we’re sharing and I’m in those DMs all the time and would love to hear from you and know ways I could be of service to you.
David Hirsch: Excellent. We’ll be sure to include that in the show notes in addition to the website information as well. Brady, thank you for taking the time and many insights. As a reminder, Brady is just one of the dads who’s part of the Special Fathers Network, a mentoring program for fathers raising a child with special needs. If you’d like to be a mentor father or if you are seeking advice from a mentor father with a similar situation to your own, please go to 21stCenturyDads.org.
Thank you for listening to the latest episode of the Special Fathers Network Dad to Dad Podcast. I hope you enjoyed the conversation as much as I did. As you probably know, the 21st Century Dads Foundation is a 501c3 not for profit organization, which means we need your help to keep our content free to all concerned. Would you please consider making a tax-deductible contribution? I would [01:00:00] really appreciate your support. Brady, thanks again.
Brady Murray: Thanks for having me on.
Tom Couch: And thank nou for listening to the Special Fathers Network Dad to Dad Podcast. The Special Fathers Network is a dad to dad mentoring program for fathers raising children with special needs. Through our personalized matching process, new fathers with special needs children match up with mentor fathers in a similar situation. It’s a great way for dads to support other dads. To find out more, go to 21stCenturyDads.org
David Hirsch: And if you’re a dad looking for help or would like to offer help, we would be honored to have you join our closed Facebook group. Please go to Facebook.com, groups, and search “dad to dad.” Lastly, we’re always looking to share interesting stories. If you’d like to share your story or if you know of a compelling story, please send an email to David@21stCenturyDads.org.
Tom Couch: The Special Fathers Network Dad to Dad Podcast was produced by me, Tom Couch.
Thanks again [01:01:00] to Horizon Therapeutics who believe that science and compassion must work together to transform lives. That’s why they work tirelessly to research, develop, and bring forward medicines for people living with rare and rheumatic diseases. Discover more about Horizon Therapeutics at HorizonTherapeutics.com.