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Phoebe Sumter Foundation Announces 2023 Lights of Love Tree Lighter

Americus, GA | November 16, 2023 – The Phoebe Sumter Foundation will honor local cancer patients and their families with its beloved annual Lights of Love tree lighting ceremony this holiday season. Gloria Simpson, of Americus, has been named the honorary tree lighter for Phoebe Sumter at the December 14 ceremony to be held on the hospital campus.

Gloria was diagnosed with aplastic anemia in 2010. Aplastic anemia is a rare but serious blood condition caused by damage to stem cells that prevents bone marrow from making enough new blood cells for your body to work normally.  But that diagnosis has not stopped Gloria from working. “I’m always busy, and I love it,” she says.

Gloria has “retired” a couple of times from jobs in human resources and customer service, but retirement just never seems to take. These days, she works at The Sweet Spot, an Americus bakery owned by her daughter-in-law. Gloria loves people and people love her.

“All my jobs dealt with people,” she said.  “When I go to the doctor’s office, the girls there say, ‘you know everybody.  Is there anybody you don’t know?’”

That doctor’s office is Phoebe Hematology & Oncology of Americus where Gloria has been a regular patient since her diagnosis. In addition to taking medication, she goes every fourth week for chemotherapy. She takes two shots a day for five days and has been doing that for two years. Sometimes Gloria requires blood transfusions, and her care team is working toward a stem cell transplant.

Throughout her health challenges, she has remained thankful for how well she is doing and optimistic about the future. She is exceptionally grateful for the expert and compassionate care she gets at the clinic at Phoebe Sumter.

The other honorary tree lighters are the Garner Family, of Albany, at Phoebe Cancer Center and Corin Gibson, of Sylvester, at Phoebe Worth. They will join family, friends, and the public during special ceremonies on each respective campus. Their stories of hope, along with Gloria’s, can be found by visiting

Lights will be lit in the thousands in honor and memory of loved ones, and donations to the beloved holiday event will benefit oncology patients receiving treatments at Phoebe Sumter Medical Center. A symbolic light of love can be purchased for a suggested $25. To donate, call (229) 931-1300 or visit

The public is invited to the Lights of Love ceremony at Phoebe Sumter on Thursday, December 14 at 6 p.m. at the main hospital entrance.