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U.S. Postal Service Issues Alzheimer's Stamp

The U.S. Postal Service recently issued an Alzheimer's stamp to raise awareness of the brain-wasting disease and to draw attention to the vital role of the caregiver. The USPS began issuing 65 million, 42-cent Alzheimer's Awareness stamps nationwide on Friday, October 17 in time for Alzheimer's Awareness Month in November.

The stamp portrays an older woman with her head bent down; a reassuring hand rests on her shoulder. The illustration is faintly obscured, as though seen though a haze. In addition, the words care, support, and research appear in the selvage in the upper right corner of the stamp sheet.

Art director Ethel Kessler of Bethesda, MD worked with illustrator Matt Mahurin of Northport, NY to create the stamp. Although Kessler has designed more than 200 postage stamps, this one held special significance for her. Ms. Kessler's mother suffers from Alzheimer's disease and lives in a nursing home. She says the image is not her mother. The fog in the image is meant to convey how a person with Alzheimer's lives in a mist-like state and how caregivers support them through the disease process.

The Alzheimer's Awareness stamp is part of a USPS tradition of educating the public and drawing attention to diseases and social causes through its stamp program. Recent stamps have featured breast cancer, hospice, AIDs, organ and tissue donations and literacy. With the exception of the Breast Cancer Research stamp that helped raise funds for research, the stamps utilize the power of the mail to highlight causes on millions of pieces of mail that circulate daily through the U.S. mail system.