The hour-long ceremony ended with the official beginning of the sale of the 60-cent stamp, and marked the end of what Siggins described as a “very, very long journey.”
“It’s so nice that, in a way the journey is sort of ending, as far as this part,” she said. “But we still have a long way to go.”
Siggins became active in advocating for Alzheimer’s research and funding after her husband’s passing. It all started with an advocacy conference in Hagerstown, she said. She heard about a stamp that was raising money for breast cancer and thought there needed to be one for Alzheimer’s too.
The artwork on the new stamp is similar to that of the old one. The artwork shows an illustration of an older woman in profile with a hand on her shoulder. In the 2008 stamp, the woman is facing the left — in the new stamp, she is facing right.
“This is what the advocates work for. We share our story, we tell them how important the research is. And that’s why I continue to be here. Not just for me, but for my family, our children, our grandchildren,” she said. “We need to find a cure.”
Thursday’s ceremony included comment from many, including Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center President Dr. Richard Bennett and Congressman Elijah Cummings, D-District 7.
Cummings reiterated Siggins’ goal of finding a cure, and spoke of those he knew who died of the disease.
He paraphrased Benjamin E. May’s poem, urging people to take hold of this minute, and use it.
“We only have a minute, 60 seconds in it, forced upon us, we did not choose it, but we know that we must use it, give account if we abuse it, suffer if we lose it, only a tiny little minute, but eternity is in it,” Cummings recited.