April 2, 2003
For immediate release
Contact: Heinz C. Prechter Fund for Manic Depression
Juvenile Bipolar Research Foundation
Christina Fay, President
Waltraud Prechter Receives Honors From Juvenile Bipolar Research Foundation
Southgate, Michigan - April 2, 2003 - Waltraud "Wally" Prechter, founder and president of the Heinz C. Prechter Fund for Manic Depression, will be honored along with actress Carrie Fisher and renowned handbag designer Lulu Guinness at The Juvenile Bipolar Research Foundation's (JBRF) "Dreamcatcher Evening" on April 4 in New York City.
Prechter, who established the Heinz C. Prechter Fund for Manic Depression in memory of her late husband, will be honored for her efforts to advance breakthrough medical research to help develop cures for manic depression, also known as bipolar disorder. She is also being feted for her work to combat the stigma of mental illness.
In naming Prechter as one of the honorees, JBRF President Christina P. Fay said, "We selected Mrs. Prechter for her vision in promoting new research frontiers in a quest to find a cure for bipolar disorder. Research is our mightiest tool to find better treatments and, ultimately, better outcomes for our children."
Commenting on the JBRF, Prechter said, "It's an honor to be recognized by an organization that is at the forefront of educating parents about bipolar disorder." She added, "Too often, children with bipolar disorder are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. The JBRF works tirelessly to address this lack of recognition."
Prechter's inaugural gala for the Heinz C. Prechter Fund for Manic Depression held last year raised over $1.25 million, making it the largest single fund-raising event for bipolar disorder in U.S. history. A second gala is planned for Friday, October 3, 2003 at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Dearborn, Michigan.
Prechter recently presented two grants to two leading medical teams specializing in bipolar research -- Massachusetts General Hospital, which serves as a teaching hospital for Harvard Medical School, and the Pediatric Bipolar Disorder Program at Stanford University. The teams are working to identify genes involved with bipolar disorder and are examining treatment protocols that someday might halt the progress of the disease and prevent its onset.
The Heinz C. Prechter Fund for Manic Depression is named for industrialist Heinz C. Prechter who fell victim to suicide in 2001 after struggling with intermittent bouts of manic depression for most of his adult life.
More information about the fund can be obtained on its web-site at www.hcpfmd.org