9 Miami police officers, firefighter bike to Key West for good cause

First responders hope to raise money for Live Like Bella Foundation

By Trent Kelly - Reporter

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. - Nearly a dozen first responders are taking part in a 150-mile bicycle ride to the Florida Keys -- and it's all for a good cause.

Nine police officers and one firefighter from the city of Miami will spend the next three days biking for Bella Rodriguez-Torres, a South Florida girl who lost her battle with cancer in 2013.

The annual bike ride helps raise money for the Live Like Bella Childhood Cancer Foundation, which her family started several years ago in the hopes of finding a cure for childhood cancer. 

Last year's "Live Like Bella" bike ride raised more than $30,000.

Organizers are trying to top that this year, setting a fundraising goal of more than $40,000 by the end of the trip.

"It's incredibly humbling for my family and I, particularly, to see that six years after Bella went to heaven, these first responders, these brave men and women, put their life and limb at risk in memory of Bella," father and Live Like Bella chairman Raymond Rodriguez-Torres said.

The group took off before sunrise from the Milam's Market on South Dixie Highway in Kendall. They'll spend the next three days biking to Key West, expecting to arrive at the southernmost point by about 2 p.m. Friday.

"What's great about the Live Like Bella Foundation is, we have no borders," Miami police Capt. Javier Ortiz said. "So we help people in Alaska. We help people in other countries. But all the funding that we're able to raise here is also used here in South Florida."

Anyone wanting to support the first responders on their journey can do so by donating to LiveLikeBella.org.

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