Live LIke Bella Foundation partners with Miami Cancer Institute at BHSF

Live Like Bella Childhood Cancer Foundation has announced a partnership with Baptist Health South Florida to fund the Live Like Bella Pediatric Proton Radiation Oncology Program at Miami Cancer Institute.

The new Miami Cancer Institute at Baptist Health South Florida will offer comprehensive clinical services, state-ofthe- art technology and an innovative research facility. A milestone for Miami, the $430 million facility will be the first in South Florida — and one of the few facilities in America — to offer proton therapy. This sophisticated treatment destroys cancer cells with precisely targeted doses of radiation while avoiding healthy tissue.

For the first time, children battling cancer in South Florida, Latin America and the Caribbean will have convenient access to proton therapy.

The Pediatric Proton Radiation Oncology Program area within Miami Cancer Institute will display “Live Like Bella” in bright red letters, representing the Foundation’s logo written in Bella Rodriguez-Torres’ own handwriting, captured prior to her passing from childhood cancer in 2013.

Through a generous gift and in partnership with the Live Like Bella Foundation, researchers at Miami Cancer Institute will be able to conduct clinical trials and provide treatments specifically for pediatric cancer patients receiving proton radiation therapy.

“We are thrilled to support this innovative treatment for children from our community and the many abroad who will soon be able to travel to Miami to receive it,” said Raymond Rodriguez-Torres, chair of Live Like Bella and Bella’s father, at the recent sold-out Bella’s Ball. “Bella was one of the first children from South Florida to receive proton radiation in 2007. Our family had to travel and be away from home for many months. It is a privilege to support such an important project that will help generations of children and families right in their own backyard.”

Live Like Bella was founded in June 2013 in memory of Bella Rodriguez- Torres, who passed away at the tender age of 10 from Rhabdomyosarcoma, an aggressive childhood cancer. In her sixyear battle she inspired millions to #LiveLikeBella and the organization is dedicated to finding a cure for pediatric cancer by funding innovative pediatric cancer research. The Foundation also provides support for families with children currently in treatment and provides memorial assistance for families who have lost a child to cancer.

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