To ensure that childhood cancer become a treatable and curable disease.
As a family, we have experienced first-hand the unbearable the pain it can be to have a child who has been diagnosed with cancer. While we belong to a club that no one wants to be in, we are here to raise awareness and offer emotional and financial support to families affected by childhood cancer. The Live Like Bella® Foundation was founded in 2013 with the mission to help children with pediatric cancer maintain the same love for life that Bella had through research and support. As of 2017, we’ve raised over 4 million dollars for childhood cancer research and assisted families in 44 states and 11 countries around the world.
Bella Rodriguez-Torres was born & the world became a better place. Despite having developmental delays from low oxygen at birth, Bella was a healthy and happy. She loved life, the color red, s’mores, bubble baths, and singing at the top of her lungs.
Bella Rodriguez-Torres, our bubbly, boisterous 4-year old suddenly becomes paralyzed and diagnosed with Stage Four Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma. We are heartbroken, but not hopeless. From this point on, our lives changed forever.
Shannah Rodriguez-Torres, Bella’s mother, commemorates Childhood Cancer Awareness month by kicking off a storm of community events to benefit Bella and other children affected by childhood cancer. “Bella’s Bake Sale” raised several thousand dollars! It was a big step towards the right direction, and an even bigger boost of hope for our family.
Raymond Rodriguez-Torres, inspired by his daughter’s fight with pediatric cancer, pens the bestselling novel “Why Not Me? A True Story About a Miracle in Miami.” All of the proceeds from the book are donated to childhood cancer research. Together, Raymond and Shannah served as chairs for the inaugural CureSearch Walk Miami. The event raised close to $200k for childhood cancer research.
Showing her compassion for others, Bella collaborated with her mom Shannah and organized a “Band-Aid Drive”. Over 3,000 fun, colorful children’s band aids were donated by “Bella’s Believers” and given to the Miami Children’s Hospital patient’s undergoing treatment.
Keeping the momentum going, Shannah organized “Bella’s Birthday Bash and Bazaar,” a joyous occasion that raised thousands of dollars towards pediatric cancer research and brought awareness to the cause.
Bella passesd away at the age of 10. While we were filled with sorrow, we knew we could not rest in our mission to find a cure for childhood cancer.
The City of Miami Police Department shows their unwavering support for Bella by shaving their heads in her memory. Officers also participated in a bike ride from Miami to Key West in Bella’s honor, a tribute to her love for the great outdoors. The event raised a staggering $100k for childhood cancer research and draws national attention.
The Live Like Bella® Foundation is founded in memory of Bella.
In our quest to make cancer a curable and treatable disease, the state of Florida created The Live Like Bella® Initiative which grants $4.4 million dollars to fund research exclusively for childhood cancer under the leadership of Senate President Pro Tem Anitere Flores.
The Live Like Bella® Foundation surpasses 4 million dollars in donations. To date, the money raised has been donated to on-going research, memorial support, compassionate use, and in-treatment support to families in 44 states and 11 countries around the world.
United States Senator Marco Rubio and his colleagues in the Senate passed the Research to Accelerate Cures and Equity (RACE) for Children Act as part of the FDA user fees reauthorization bill.
The Live Like Bella® Foundation has served families in 44 states and 11 countries.
The Live Like Bella® Pediatric Proton Radiation Program opens at Miami Cancer Institute in alliance with Memorial Sloan Kettering.