Introducing the 2020 Red Cross Class of Heroes: Blood Services Heroes

Patty Gonzalez and Maricela Wesby’s niece, AnaVictoria, was 13 years old when she was diagnosed with leukemia.  It took truly copious amounts of blood, donated by others, to keep her alive for the following two years.

Inspired by this, Gonzalez, Wesby and their Northern Trust colleague Georgina Adan started blood drives in AnaVictoria’s memory after she passed away in 2017.  Since then, this trio of fabulous females have been responsible for over 2000 units of blood donations.

anavictoria Red Cross heroes
AnaVictoria. Courtesy of American Red Cross.

That’s why the Red Cross of Illinois has awarded them the 2020 Blood Services Hero Award, sponsored by Fresenius Kabi.

Please share their story widely.

Take action today to help save lives. Make a gift at and your impact will be doubled by a generous match to help fund a permanent blood donation center in the Red Cross’ Rauner Center, which will allow even more blood to be donated in AnaVictoria’s memory and so many others, too.  Or, donate lifesaving blood by scheduling an appointment at for April 28that New Trier High School.

Thank you to our generous matching donors who made this possible.

Better is honored to be a Signature Sponsor of the Heroes Breakfast and to launch the social network campaign for all 11 hero videos in collaboration with the Red Cross, and alongside event sponsors including, Edwardson Family Foundation, Kirkland & Ellis, CSXKPMG, Walgreens, and CBS Chicago.

During these complicated Covid times, when we need heroes more than ever, Better is honored to collaborate closely with the Red Cross and their partners to spread this inspiring story.

We are deeply grateful for your support too.

More from Better:

  Who We Are       NFP Support       Magazine       Programs       Donate