The Foundation for Physical Therapy recently received a gift of $1.58 million from the estate of Magdalen and Emil Goergeny of Akron, Ohio, according to a news release.

PT_news-01The bequest is one of the largest planned gifts ever received by the Alexandria, Va.-based foundation, according to the release. Proceeds from the Goergeny estate will be used to support the foundation’s research programs — supporting the profession in which Magdalen Goergeny served.

With this gift, the Goergenys become foundation Legacy Partners, a recognition for members and friends who have included the organization in their estate plans.

“Bequests play a vital role in the foundation’s ability to carry out its mission to fund and publicize physical therapy research, and we are extremely thankful to the Goergenys and all our Legacy Partners who have thought of us when developing their plans,” Foundation Board of Trustees President Barbara Connolly, DPT, PT, EdD, FAPTA, said in the release. “With this generous bequest, the foundation will be able to increase both the amount of research and the number of researchers it can fund at a time when the demand for physical therapy and physical therapy research also is dramatically increasing.”

The Foundation for Physical Therapy recently received a gift of $1.58 million from the estate of Magdalen (left) and Emil (right) Goergeny, according to a news release. Magdalen Goergeny (left) became a member of the American Physical Therapy Association in 1972 and was a life member at the time of her death in 2013, according to the release. Emil Goergeny also died in 2013. (Photo courtesy of the APTA)

The Foundation for Physical Therapy recently received a gift of $1.58 million from the estate of Magdalen (left) and Emil (right) Goergeny, according to a news release. Magdalen Goergeny (left) became a member of the American Physical Therapy Association in 1972 and was a life member at the time of her death in 2013, according to the release. Emil Goergeny also died in 2013. (Photo courtesy of the APTA)

Established in 1979, the Foundation for Physical Therapy is a national, independent nonprofit organization that works to improve the quality and delivery of physical therapy care by providing support for scientifically based and clinically relevant research and doctoral scholarships and fellowships. During the past 35 years, the foundation has awarded more than $16 million in research grants, fellowships and postprofessional doctoral scholarships to more than 550 emerging scientists.

Magdalen Goergeny became a member of the American Physical Therapy Association in 1972 and was a life member at the time of her death, according to the release. Her practice focus was orthopedics. She died in July 2013 at age 87, and Emil Goergeny died in September 2013 at 96.

The Goergenys were natural-born Hungarian citizens. Emil Goergeny served two years of mandatory service in the Hungarian Army and was severely injured — losing sight in both eyes — when the city of Kassa was bombed during World War II on June 26, 1941. The couple married in 1944, and Magdalen first worked as a grade school teacher, then as a secretary in a chocolate factory, according to the release.

After Emil Goergeny endured more than 50 surgeries in Austria between 1945 and 1949, the couple moved to Norway when denied reentry into their native Hungary. Magdalen Goergeny enrolled in the Oslo Physio-Therapeutical Institute, a division of the University of Oslo, graduating in 1954. The couple emigrated to the U.S. a year later, and became naturalized citizens in 1960.

Magdalen Goergeny received her U.S. physical therapy instruction at the New York University College of Medicine and the University of Oregon Medical School, among others. She established a practice in 1971 in Portland, Ore. The couple eventually settled in Akron, Ohio.