MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Since Bella Rodriguez-Torres lost her battle to cancer on May 28, 2013, Miami Police have ridden their mountain bikes hundreds of miles in her memory, raising funds for pediatric cancer research through the Live Like Bella Childhood Cancer Foundation.
“We are riding for Bella and all the young victims who have suffered and taken away by cancer,” said Lt. Freddie Cruz, a City of Miami Police officer.
Early Wednesday morning, more than a dozen officers gathered to prepare for their 300-mile bike ride.
Raymond Rodriguez-Torres, Bella’s father, who created the foundation in memory of his courageous daughter, was front and center.
“I feel immense pride and gratitude in memory of my daughter,” he told the group before they left.
The group strapped on their helmets, grabbed their bikes and began their 3-day journey just before the sun came up. Bella’s father and the officers, along with retired MLB All-Star Pitcher Danys Báez, who is also a board member, hit the road. They are expected to arrive in Orlando on Friday afternoon and end at Walt Disney World, Bella’s favorite place.
“It is truly humbling beyond words,” said Rodriguez-Torres. “Bella, a child who was six, very little, but battled her disease so valiantly, it’s amazing to see the movement Live Like Bella continue, no longer for her, but for the generations of children battling cancer.”
For more information, and if you would like to help, go to: livelikebella.org