About Us

Our Story

Shield 23 Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) formed in March 2018 by family and friends in memory of 20-year Gurnee (Illinois) Fire Department Firefighter/Paramedic Russell S. Constantino, who passed away on November 9th, 2009 at age 46 from job-related brain cancer. Shield 23 Foundation’s Mission is to raise funds for and gift funds to firefighters battling cancer and the families that stand beside them.

As Russ’ surviving spouse, and mother to two then-young children, Founder & President Shenan Constantino knows firsthand the emotional stress as well as financial hardship that both the firefighter and their family struggles to cope with during a battle with cancer.

The Foundation serves to honor the legacy of Russ and those firefighters everywhere that are engaged in a battle against cancer that has been caused, in whole or in part, as a consequence of their commitment and dedication to the communities they serve. It also serves as a way for Russ’ family to pay it forward, in support of other firefighter families that fight the good fight alongside their firefighter loved ones.

The foundation relies on a dedicated team of volunteers to drive our Mission.