Diagnosed with a rare cancer, rhabdomyosarcoma, when she was just 4 years old, Bella Rodriguez-Torres was being remembered by hundreds at a viewing in Kendall Thursday night, but people all over the nation know her and her story.
A Facebook page titled "Pray for Bella" has more than 64,000 likes. The page is full of well-wishers and stories about Bella, like when she became a police chief for a day.
Most recently, on the day she died, LeBron James and Dwayne Wade wrote #LiveLikeBella on their shoes. The Miami Marlins made a jersey with the now-viral saying just for her. Outside the funeral home, a sign on a fence says the same.
"It puts a lot of things into perspective when you see a 10-year-old girl who has battled cancer so valiantly, as Bella did, never once complaining with a tremendous positive attitude and a smile on her face – even to the time of her passing," her uncle and godfather, Ralph Rodriguez-Torres, said Thursday.
He said his niece would have, "in heaven, the childhood that she was robbed of here on this Earth."
Her funeral will be held Friday at 1 p.m. at Saint John Neumann Catholic Church in Kendall.
Bella's fight against cancer was followed by thousands, and her life will be remembered by just as many.
On June 4, members of the Miami Police Department will have their heads shaved in honor of the little girl who served as their chief for a day. The next day, Miami Police will bike for Bella: from Miami to Key West.
All the money raised will go to a fund in Bella's name to fight childhood cancer.
Although the bike ride is only for police personnel, anyone can volunteer to shave his or her head. To register, go to www.bella2013.com.