The MICHAEL FOUNDATION was founded by Dr. Fritz Harzendorf. His son Michael suffered from epilepsy from early age, with grand mal seizures after waking up and many absence seizures.
Dr. Fritz Harzendorf was a publisher well-known in southern Germany for his steadfastness against the National Socialists and for his career as a journalist. When his son was about 15 years old, he approached the University Hospital of Heidelberg, which had a focus on treating epilepsy. After initial treatment difficulties, Michael became seizure-free and remains so today – prompting the father to think about the formation of an epilepsy foundation.
The experience with Michael showed Dr. Harzendorf that epilepsy could be treated successfully if doctors used knowledge about epilepsy competently. Talking to Michael’s doctor, Prof. Dr. Dieter Janz, he developed the idea that the treatment of epilepsy can be improved by deliberate epilepsy research. Furthermore, qualified information and counseling can reduce or remove epilepsy related obstacles in school, at work, and during other activities.
On July 11, 1962, Dr. Harzendorf established the
"MICHAEL FOUNDATION for the research and combatting of seizure disorders and their individual and social consequences"
("STIFTUNG MICHAEL zur Erforschung und Bekämpfung der Anfallskrankheiten und ihrer individuellen und sozialen Folgen").
He equipped it with an endowment fund of 500,000 DM.
The activity of the foundation is guided by the following objectives: