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PRESS RELEASES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | September 19, 2008

New Alzheimer’s Social Awareness Postage Stamp Unveiled
Stamp recognizes importance of knowing more about Alzheimer’s Disease

SAN FRANCISCO — James Larkin, U.S. Postal Service Senior Plant Manager in San Francisco and Patricia Garamendi, assistant general manager, California Exposition and State Fair and wife of Lt. Gov. John Garamendi yesterday unveiled the new Alzheimer’s Awareness commemorative postage stamp as part of a special presentation at the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America National Concepts in Care Conference. The conference took place at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco.

The stamp recognizes the importance of knowing more about Alzheimer’s in an effort to help raise awareness. The 42-cent Alzheimer’s Awareness stamp will be available at Post Offices nationwide beginning October 17, 2008.

“For more than half a century, the Postal Service has issued special stamps to help raise public awareness about important health and social issues. Today, we are proud to use the program to call attention to Alzheimer’s disease,” said Larkin. “It is our goal — and our expectation — that the Alzheimer’s Awareness stamp will encourage the public to learn to recognize the symptoms of the disease, understand what to do for those who have the disease, and lend their support to find a cure.”

Garamendi delivered the keynote presentation to the nearly 250 family caregivers and healthcare professionals attending the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America conference. She told her own story of the special relationship she has with her mother, who has had Alzheimer’s disease for about nine years and is now cared for by her and her husband John.

“The intimate knowledge we have living with someone with Alzheimer’s disease has only strengthened my resolve and that of my husband to try to do all we can to educate people about Alzheimer’s disease, the importance of memory screening and the essential role that family and committed caregivers have in making the lives of those with Alzheimer’s disease better,” Garamendi said.

Eric J. Hall, president and CEO of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, said the unveiling of the stamp was especially meaningful to conference attendees, most of whom were caregivers.

“We hope this heartfelt stamp will help spread the passion and commitment to the cause felt by caregivers around the world,” Hall said. “The Alzheimer’s Awareness stamp sends a powerful message that we must focus more attention on the need for care and a cure for this devastating disease.”

Experts estimate that more than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. The disease initially affects the parts of the brain that control language, thought and memory, and progressively causes difficulty in carrying out daily activities. It is the most common form of dementia among older people, and it the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.

Art director Ethel Kessler worked with illustrator Matt Mahurin to draw attention to the importance of the caregiver for those who have Alzheimer’s disease. Three words — care, support, research — appear in the selvage in the upper right corner of the stamp sheet.

For more information about Alzheimer’s disease, contact the Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral (ADEAR) Center (www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers), the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (www.alzfdn.org) or the Alzheimer’s Association (www.alz.org).

Please Note: For broadcast quality video and audio, photo stills (including that of the Alzheimer’s Awareness stamp) and other media resources, visit the USPS Newsroom at: www.usps.com/communications/newsroom/welcome.htm. 

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An independent federal agency, the U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that visits every address in the nation – 146 million homes and businesses. It has 37,000 retail locations and relies on the sale of postage, products and services, not tax dollars to pay for operating expenses. The Postal Service has annual revenues of $75 billion and delivers nearly half the world’s mail.

Contact: Carol Steinberg
Phone: 866-AFA-8484