Postmaster General Letter – Alzheimer’s Semipostal

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The Honorable Megan J. Brennan
Postmaster General
United States Postal Service
475 L’Enfant Plaza, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20260-0010

Dear Postmaster General Brennan:

I am one of countless Americans who have [EXAMPLE – CUSTOMIZE FOR YOUR SITUATION: lost loved ones to Alzheimer’s disease – first my dad, and then my husband. I was a caregiver for 18 years. In memory of my loved ones] and on behalf of the the more than 5.3 million Americans suffering with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, their 15.5 million unpaid caregivers, and those yet to be diagnosed, I am writing to request that you waste no time in using the Postal Service’s existing statutory authority to issue an Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness and Research semipostal stamp.

Every 67 seconds another American is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. First described over 100 years ago, it is now recognized as our nation’s 3rd leading cause of death and the ONLY illness among the top ten for which there is no known prevention, treatment, or cure. Alzheimer’s has NO survivors. The disease has a staggering reach: Roughly one out of every five of us is at risk of developing Alzheimer’s in our lifetime. Caring for those with Alzheimer’s costs the world an estimated $604 billion each year in addition to the tremendous personal costs borne by families. By 2025, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s disease is estimated to reach 7.1 million — a 40 percent increase from the 5.3 million age 65 and older currently affected. They and their families will suffer immeasurably.

With a problem of such magnitude we must use every means available to move us swiftly towards a cure. The Alzheimer’s stamp is a highly symbolic method to raise awareness and allow ordinary citizens to show their support for individuals and families impacted by this devastating disease. As importantly, it would help raise much needed funds for medical research through the voluntary purchase of postage stamps with no appreciable cost to the taxpayers.

As you know, we currently have 2 semipostals, the Breast Cancer Research semipostal which, as of August, 2015, has raised over $80.9 million for breast cancer research and the Save Vanishing Species semipostal, which has raised $2.6 million. Even though the Semipostal Stamp Program Proposed Rules specifically state that the cause “furthers human welfare,” 100 percent of the net amount raised by selling the Save Vanishing Species semipostal goes to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to support the Multinational Species Conservation Funds.

In 2008, the USPS issued the first ever Alzheimer’s Awareness commemorative stamp which has since been retired. At its unveiling, Postmaster General John Potter spoke these words: “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.”

It is now time for an Alzheimer’s Disease Semipostal Stamp – a stamp that would raise both awareness and funds and move us closer to prevention and a cure. I urge you to take action and provide hope where so little hope exists.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


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