For the 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer's disease, help can seem far away. Scientists don't fully understand the disease. The progressive dementia it brings can be scary and disorienting. And social isolation and loneliness are often part of the equation, further affecting brain function.
Starting Nov. 30, a new stamp will lend a helping hand.
The first-class stamp, which shows someone placing a hand on the shoulder of an elderly woman, hints at the hope and companionship that caregivers, researchers and an aware public can bring.
It's the work of California stamp artist Matt Mahurin.
The stamp won't just stick on letters; it will also fuel research as part of the U.S. Postal Service's semipostal stamp program, which permits the sale of first-class stamps above the usual cost. Each 60-cent stamp will raise funds for the National Institutes of Health, which spearheads research into Alzheimer's disease. It will also expand awareness of the disease, which is now the sixth-leading cause of death for American adults.
The stamp will be dedicated at a ceremony at the Memory & Alzheimer's Treatment Center at Johns Hopkins's Bayview campus in Baltimore on Nov. 30. Kathy Siggins, who submitted the idea for the stamp after her husband died of the disease, will attend, along with U.S. Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan. The event is open to the public, though advance registration is required.
Ready to stamp out Alzheimer's disease? Look for the stamp starting Nov. 30.