MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Her courageous battle against cancer and her famed motto “Live Like Bella” became a rallying cry for tens of thousands on social media.
On Friday, a Miami-Dade park will be renamed in her honor. The new “Live Like Bella Park,” formerly Leisure Lakes Park, is located at 29305 Illinois Road in Miami.
At the age of four, Bella Rodriguez-Torrez was diagnosed with Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma, an aggressive form of childhood cancer. Her six-year battle with the disease was chronicled on Facebook and Twitter by her parents, Raymond and Shannah.
Bella passed away on May 28th, 2013. The following month, her family founded the Live Like Bella Foundation to continue the legacy of helping other kids fight cancer. The Foundation advocates and funds the most innovative and non-toxic pediatric cancer research and provides support to families during their child’s treatments and in memoriam.
Miami-Dade County Commission Vice Chair Lynda Bell sponsored the measure to re-name the park. The park naming ceremony will include a press conference by the Live Like Bella Foundation and a tree planting. Attendees are encouraged to wear something “red” to the occasion, Bella’s favorite color.
“It is an honor to name this park after Bella, who battled cancer so valiantly,” said Commissioner Bell. “This beautiful park will stand as a living tribute to a little girl who touched the hearts of so many during her short time on earth.”
The 8.6-acre park contains a children’s playground, a baseball field, two basketball courts, a fitness court, a small recreation building and lighted pathways.