COVID Doesn't Stop Officer's Benefit Ride to Honor Child Lost to Cancer

Officer Joe McCrink logged a thousand miles during his off hours to raise money for the Live Like Bella Foundation.

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To cheers and applause, Officer Joe McCrink wrapped up his annual benefit bike ride in front of Miami Police headquarters Tuesday morning.

“Today, we celebrate Joe McCrink,” announced Chief Jorge Colina after McCrink celebrates the late Bella Rodriguez-Torres.

Torres passed away at the age of ten after a six-year battle with Rhabdomyosarcoma, an aggressive childhood cancer.

“I did the easy part, “ said McCrink. “I just rode a bike.”

But he rode it on his own this year after COVID-19 canceled a long distance ride for 2020. In previous years, he would ride to places like Key West or Walt Disney World with fellow officers. This year, McCrink figured he could do it himself.

He committed to cramming in a thousand miles on his own by the end of September, to put a spotlight on Childhood Cancer Awareness Month - all while working full time.

“Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays I would ride in the morning at four in the morning on Key Biscayne, and then in the afternoon at around 6 o’clock I would ride in Kendall,” he explained.

Nicole De Lara Puente of the Live Like Bella Foundation congratulated him, and noted 43 children will be diagnosed with cancer today, telling Officer McCrink, “you ride on behalf of each of them.”

“If they can battle through that, I can get up off my butt and go ride bike,” said McCrink, who counted nearly $20,000 dollars raised for the foundation.

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