I am one of countless Americans who have lost loved ones to Alzheimer’s - first my dad in 2001 and then my husband in 2012. As their primary caregiver for 18 years, I understand all too well the emotional, physical and financial toll Alzheimer’s takes on our loved ones and our families, and the urgent need for a cure.
Every 67 seconds another American is diagnosed with Alzheimer's. First described over 100 years ago, it is now recognized as our nation's third leading cause of death and the only illness among the top ten for which there is no prevention, treatment or cure. Caring for those with Alzheimer’s currently costs the United States $226 billion a year. Without an effective means of treatment, this is projected to increase to $1.1 trillion by 2050.
But there is hope! With enough funding for research, an end to this devastating disease is within reach. One untapped source of funding is the Postal Service’s semipostal stamp program, which allows consumers to choose to pay a little bit extra to donate to important causes. You may be familiar with the Breast Cancer Research semipostal, which sells for 60 cents, or 11 cents above the cost of a regular First Class stamp. Sales of this stamp have raised almost $81 million for breast cancer research.
Earlier this month UsAgainstAlzheimer’s wrote to the Postmaster General urging her to establish a new semipostal program benefiting Alzheimer’s research. But now she needs to hear from YOU to ensure the Postal Service makes this a priority. In 2008, the Postal Service issued an Alzheimer’s Awareness commemorative stamp, which has since been retired. At its unveiling, Postmaster General John Potter said, “With the Alzheimer’s Awareness commemorative stamp, we 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.” His words ring even more true today. A new Alzheimer’s Disease Research stamp would accomplish all of these goals and raise critical funds to support lifesaving Alzheimer’s research.
On behalf of all Americans suffering with Alzheimer's and other dementias, their 15.5 million unpaid caregivers, and those yet to be diagnosed, please join UsAgainstAlzheimer’s in calling for an Alzheimer’s Disease semipostal to fund the search for a cure. Together we can help stamp out Alzheimer’s!