Alzheimer’s Fundraising Stamp Released
At a first-day-of-issue ceremony on Nov. 30, the U.S. Postal Service dedicated a stamp to help fund research on Alzheimer’s disease. The Alzheimer’s semipostal fundraising stamp costs 60 cents and includes the first-class mail single-piece postage plus an amount to fund Alzheimer’s research. Revenue from sales of the Alzheimer’s stamp will be distributed to the National Institute on Aging.
NIA deputy director Dr. Marie Bernard joined Postmaster General Megan Brennan, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center president Dr. Richard Bennett and Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center Memory and Alzheimer’s Treatment Center director Dr. Constantine Lyketsos at the ceremony.
“We’re in a new age of Alzheimer’s research with a number of efforts under way,” said Bernard “The new semipostal stamp will both raise awareness of Alzheimer’s research and care as well as contribute to the search for effective ways to prevent and treat this heart-breaking disease.”
Currently, there are more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease. With age the best-known risk factor for AD, that number is expected to grow exponentially as our population ages.
NIA is working to identify new genes that affect Alzheimer’s disease and their role as risk factors or protective factors, to explore imaging techniques and ways to detect development of the disease well before symptoms appear, to develop and test new therapies and to test and implement new approaches to providing care and supporting caregivers.
Kathy Siggins of Mount Airy, Md., cared for her husband during his 13-year struggle with Alzheimer’s. When he passed away in 1999, she started a 17-year campaign to get a fundraising stamp issued. She was honored for her efforts at the dedication ceremony.
“We are here because so many people took their pain and turned it into a passion to do their purpose,” said Cummings. Inspiring the audience to a standing ovation for Siggins, he said she is the perfect example of that. “You took the pain you were feeling and went out and did things that will affect generations yet unborn,” he told her. The fundraising stamp, noted Cummings, is a way that anyone can contribute to Alzheimer’s research.
Siggins got the idea from the Breast Cancer Research stamp, which was the first semipostal stamp ever issued by the United States. The Breast Cancer stamp has raised more than $86.7 million for breast cancer research, with more than $59 million going to the National Cancer Institute. Siggins and others at the event are optimistic the Alzheimer’s stamp will have a similar impact.