MIAMI (CBS4) — Her struggle with cancer inspired people across the world; now the family of Bella Rodriguez-Torres is continuing her legacy by helping other kids with cancer.
In the nearly three months since Bella died, Raymond, Shannah, and Rayna Rodriguez-Torres have had to learn how to live without Bella, but the family finds comfort in encouraging other people to live like her.
“Bella loved to sing at the top of her lungs she loved to crack up like belly laugh she lived life to the fullest, she was always praying she was always concerned about other people,” said Bella’s mom, Shannah Rodriguez-Torres.
In her ten years, Bella Rodriguez Torres inspired tens of thousands of people battling cancer with grace, faith, and constant compassion.
“Bella was a person who always cared more about others than herself, she always had greater concern for other children who were suffering who were in pain,” added her dad, Raymond.
Now her family is continuing her legacy through a foundation they created to fund pediatric cancer research, provide support for kids with cancer, and for families of children who’ve died “Miami-Tee’s” has already printed more than a thousand t-shirts for sale online and at several South Florida stores.
In the next few weeks, Navarro Discount Pharmacy will start selling “Live Like Bella” items.
The family told CBS4’s Maggie Newland, it has had orders from as far away as Australia.
The foundation has brought MMA fighters to kids with cancer at Miami Children’s Hospital and provided tablets to families of kids with cancer across the country.
Lisa Gropp is from Kansas and her son is fighting leukemia.
“To be able to make that connection and to see their face it’s just a huge, huge difference, it makes all the difference in the world,” said Gropp.
“We were so blessed and if we could just pay it forward and some of the people that were so willing to help us would be willing to help another family so that they can feel what it’s like to be carried. I feel like I have to do that,” said Shannah Rodriguez-Torres.
The family has made Bella’s message its mission.
“To live life and enjoy life and always be happy,” explained Bella’s younger sister Rayna.
“Truly the essence of ‘Live Like Bella’ is to serve others”, said Raymond..
It is happening, one t-shirt, one tablet, one message of hope at a time.
For more information on the Live Like Bella Foundation for Childhood Cancer, click here.