In Memoriam


Gloria first showed signs of lymphedema in 1976, but it was many years before she was diagnosed with the disease. She led an active life - teaching, traveling, walking, bicycling, and having fun with her husband, Lee.

Medical problems and injections in the 1980’s led to foot and leg swelling that never went away, and Gloria lost her battle with lymphedema in 2002.

Lee set up a foundation and yearly walk/ run in memory of Gloria. Part of the proceeds are donated to the Lighthouse Lymphedema Network. You can learn more at


Gwendolyn Kay Forbes-Kirby March 4, 1953 – April 9, 2021

She fought bravely and hopefully against cancer for more than a year.  At the same time she continued to treat her patients as they themselves were recovering from cancer.  Following her experience as a Peace Corps volunteer, Gwen was a physical therapist for thirty-five years. She worked at the Mills-Peninsula Medical Center in Burlingame, CA, Kapiolani Women’s Center in Honolulu, HI, University of Virginia-HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital in Charlottesville, VA and Piedmont Hospital, Atlanta, GA.  In Hawaii she became a Certified Lymphedema Therapist, treating patients with Lymphedema for decades.  In Atlanta, she joined the Board of Directors for the Lighthouse Lymphedema Network which provides hope and help for patients with Lymphedema.  A special fund has been created at the LLN to recognize Gwen’s work in this field. 

In Memory Of Larry Ashmore 1952-2020

On Saturday, December 19, 2020, Dr. Larry E. Ashmore passed away at the age of 68 after a 12 year battle with cancer. After learning about LLN from his physical therapist, Larry joined our board and served as our treasurer for many years and also did LLN’s non-profit IRS filings.

Larry was our LLN Volunteer of the Year in 2015. We noted then: “”Every year at this time, we recognize one of our own who has shown exceptional service to the LLN. The person we recognize this year has served as the LLN treasurer for several years. After his cancer surgery, he developed lymphedema in his arm from an infected port for chemo delivery. His positive attitude and happy smile has seen him through two reoccurrences. 

In Memory of Charles "Pat" O'Connor 1952 - 2013

Where to start to acknowledge the accomplishments of Pat?
Charles “Pat” O’Connor graduated from Portland State University, Portland, Oregon with a BA in history, political science and social science. He served as student body President for two years. He went on to do graduate work in Soviet studies. He studied abroad in Switzerland at “The L’Abri Fellowship”. His course of study was “The Intellectual Climate of the New Theology”. During his career he obtained certifications in customer service management, estate planning, life/health/casualty insurance, and an advanced certification in patient account.

Pat was the creator and founder of the award winning website “Lymphedema People”. He was a member of the Lymph Science Advocacy Program (LSAP) through the National Lymphedema Network.

In Memory of Cole Sanders 1944 - 2012

Cole was preceded in death by his wife, Libbie Sanders. Both of these wonderful people were long standing LLN Board members. In just a few short years, we have lost them both.

Cole dedicated himself to the care of his wife Libbie and to our organization. His will be a void left unfilled. He will forever be missed by all of us who knew and worked with him over his many years of dedicated service. His life was forever changed when he lost his beloved Libbie just a few short years ago. Our gratitude and our sorrow are extended to the Sanders family during this difficult time. Please know that you, Cole, and Libbie will forever be in our thoughts and prayers.

In Memory of Sunnie Bates 1926 - 2010

Although Sunnie’s right arm was paralyzed from cancer treatments and she suffered from neuropathy, she was always an active member of the Lighthouse Lymphedema Network. Sunnie was one of the founding members, served on the LLN Board of Directors for many years and was one of our strongest supporters. Even with her arm and hand paralyzed, Sunnie would somehow always make her delicious orange pecans to sell at the annual Piedmont Hospital Craft Bazaar. The proceeds from this event benefit our needy patients through our Bandage and Garment Fund.

Sunnie had quite a distinguished career as a pioneer in television and a lifelong advocate for women’s rights. Later in life, her interests focused on Japan. She and her husband, Woody, visited Japan many times and were active with the Japanese community in Georgia. At one time they lived in a traditional Sukiya-styled Japanese home in Buckhead that was filled with Japanese artifacts and a collection of more than 5,000 books on Japan.

Sunnie, we will miss your smile and warmth. Thank you God for the joy of Sunnie.

In Memory of Libbie Sanders 1948 - 2009

Wife, Mother, Friend, the true spirit of Christmas

When you say Libbie, you think also of Cole. They were an incredible team!

At the time we met Libbie and Cole, Libbie’s legs were already extremely deformed and in serious condition from her lymphedema. It was actually Cole who found, on the Internet, the diagnoses for her condition/disease. Over the years, we watched Libbie “battle” her health with determination.

Libbie and Cole became active members of the Lighthouse Lymphedema Network, servicing on the board of directors, hosting monthly meetings, summer luncheons, sponsoring the LLN website and simply always being there for us.

Libbie and Cole ran their business out of their home, but when Libbie would go outside, she used her scooter. The very last time we saw Libbie was March 11, 2009, at the State Capitol where the Lymphedema Legislative Committee was hosting an education and awareness forum. The story goes that Cole was in bed with a severe lung infection. He always took Libbie to “everything”, but this day, he said, “Libbie, I simply am too ill to go out”. Libbie asked if she found a way to go, would this be ok? Cole had no idea what Libbie was planning. Libbie arrived at the State Capitol with Bubba, a long time friend and helper for the family. She came wheeling in on her scooter with Bubba in toe pulling a suitcase full of cookies and fruit. They had traveled from Decatur to downtown Atlanta via MARTA. We were all so excited to see her and could not believe how she had gotten to the Capitol. This was our Libbie, always wanting to help and always there for all of us. March 11th was a Wednesday and Libbie died on Sunday, March 15th.

Libbie, our angel, your courage, determination, spirit, and love of family and others is your legacy. We miss you dear friend. God has our angel!

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About Us

The Lighthouse Lymphedema Network is a 501 (C) (3) organization of individuals who are lymphedema patients, or who have an interest in lymphedema.
5290 Matt Hwy
Suite 502-135
Cumming, GA  30028

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