Aon Honors 2022 Red Cross Healthcare Hero, Oncology Nurse Stephanie Esterland

Stephanie Esterland BSN, RN, OCN of Sandwich, Illinois, is an oncology nurse at RUSH Cancer Center who was driving her son to work on a dark July 2021 morning. On the side of the road, she came upon what she thought might be a yard fire, but instead realized it was a blazing car fire that had just occurred as the driver slammed into a tree near IL 47 in the Sugar Grove area. Stephanie saw someone trying to get out of the vehicle, and then falling to the ground near the flaming car. She jumped out of her car to help. While assessing the individual’s injured condition, Stephanie heard what sounded like fireworks. Concerned the vehicle may be on the verge of exploding, Stephanie cautiously got the individual moved away from the fire to a safer location and continued rendering assistance until emergency response arrived. Stephanie then continued to drop off her son and head to work at the RUSH Cancer Center. She has received a DAISY nursing award from the RUSH community for this act of bravery and the individual in the crash credits her with helping save his life.


The American Red Cross of Illinois celebrates the everyday heroes in our communities and honors their acts of great bravery, dedication and service through their annual Heroes Breakfast event. The event also serves as a way for the organization to highlight partnerships with corporations, like Aon, that make the lifesaving mission possible. 

As the sponsor of the 2022 Healthcare Hero Award, Aon makes it possible for the Red Cross to be prepared to respond to more than 60,000 disasters nationwide. As a leading global professional services firm, Aon works to mitigate risk and improve the health and vitality of individuals and communities at large. By thoughtfully leveraging what’s uniquely Aon — their insights and expertise — along with their human and financial capital, they strive to further the firm-wide mission of protecting and enriching the lives of people around the world. The “Why” of what they do matters — to their clients, colleagues, communities and the organizations they support. Aon’s partnership with the Red Cross helps individuals and communities become more resilient in the face of climate change, natural disasters and public health crises. Aon supports the incredible work of healthcare professionals as the Healthcare Hero Award Sponsor.

Learn more about the 2022 Red Cross Heroes and nominate a Hero in your life by visiting Better’s previous content.

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