Live Like Bella Park named in memory of South Fla. girl

Bella Rodriguez-Torres, 10, died from pediatric cancer last year

HOMESTEAD, Fla. - A park in Southwest Miami-Dade was renamed Friday in memory of a little girl who touched many hearts across the nation.

Bella Rodriguez-Torres lost her battle to pediatric cancer last year, but not before she inspired much of South Florida and the rest of the nation to "Live Like Bella." And now, the former Leisure Lakes Park along Illinois Road in Homestead has become Live Like Bella Park.

Bella's family and friends gathered at the park Friday to honor the 10-year-old girl and reminisce about the inspiration she was to so many people.

Her mother told Local 10 News Bella was diagnosed with cancer in 2007 at the age of 4.

"Doctors told us she would never walk again but she did," said Shannah Rodriguez-Torres.

During an intense procedure in 2012, her mother wrote about her happy and caring child. And across South Florida and the nation the phrase "Live Like Bella" spread.

Bella's mom said the slogan means "to live in the moment and be happy."

Bella died on May 28, 2013. She is survived by her sister, her parents and now an 8.6-acre park. The park contains a lake, sports fields and a playground.

The name of the park is now a happy reminder of a little girl that lived a short but full life.

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