New Alzheimer’s Semipostal Stamp Available
The release of this stamp represents 18 years of continuous effort on the part of Kathy Siggins and 9 years of continuous effort by Lynda Everman– champions in Alzheimer’s Awareness. If you think that one or two people cannot make a difference, continue reading and take this as proof that each of us can.
Kathy led the charge for the original Alzheimer’s commemorative stamp that was released in 2008 with these words from then Postmaster General John Potter: “With the Alzheimer’s Awareness commemorative stamp, we’ll ask Americans to use the power of mail to raise awareness about this tragic disease. We hope to draw attention to the causes of the disease, the impact it has on individuals, caregivers and society, and how research may eventually lead to treatments that prevent or halt the progression of the disease.”
With the release of the Alzheimer’s semipostal stamp on November 30th, Kathy and Lynda hope for this and more. Because it is a semipostal, that is, a fundraising stamp, not only will it raise awareness, it will raise much needed funds for dementia research. But only if each of us buys it, uses it, promotes it, gives it as gifts, etc. The success of this stamp will depend on each of us.
The design is both appropriate and highly symbolic. It features a person living with Alzheimer’s disease, while a caregiver rests a hand on her shoulder. This was the original design (facing left not right) by USPS Art Director Ethel Kessler released as the short lived commemorative stamp in 2008. While Ms. Kessler’s mother suffered from Alzheimer’s, this was not a depiction of her mother, but intended to draw attention to the importance of the care-partners of those who have Alzheimer’s and related neurological disorders. The stamp’s background juxtaposes the sun in the clouds to darkening skies, signifying the declining effects of the disease. While the darkness in the background portrays confusion, the light conveys hope. The words “care,” “support,” and “research,” appear in the selvage in the upper right corner of the stamp sheet.
Certainly those of us who have or have had loved ones with dementia understand the juxtaposition of dark and light, despair and hope, helplessness and determination as we face(d) this journey together. With the new stamp, the image will face right and it is our hope that however we face this disease, that facing it together and advocating for better treatments, prevention, and a cure, will give us strength to reach these goals.
One of our guiding principles has always been this, “Individual effort is the only way to make a collective difference.” While the semipostal cannot be “the” answer; it is yet another highly symbolic and hopefully lucrative tool in our arsenal to end a very cruel disease that has claimed too many for far too long. We respectfully ask you to help spread the word and join us in our efforts to “Help Stamp OUT Alzheimer’s!” Once it is unveiled on November 30th, it will be available at many post offices, online at usps.com (or click the image below) and by toll-free phone order at 1-800 STAMP-24. We promise you that we will not rest until there is a cure and, together we celebrate the END of Alzheimer’s!