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University of Michigan gets pledge to match $5M for bipolar research

May 1, 2017

The family of late entrepreneur Heinz Prechter is pledging to match up to $5 million in donations for bipolar disease research at the University of Michigan.

The university announced the challenge Monday. The university also is naming its bipolar research program for Prechter, who made a fortune in the car sunroof business. He was afflicted with bipolar disorder and killed himself in 2001.

Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that causes changes in mood and energy. Prechter's wife, Wally Prechter, says she's committed to fighting the stigma of the illness and improving treatments.

If the fundraising challenge is met, the Prechter family's overall donations to bipolar research at the University of Michigan will total more than $10 million.