The Extraordinary

Bella Rodriguez-Torres

The little girl who inspired the world

  • Bella with her macaw

  • Bella’s family at ZWF Miami

  • Bella’s sister, Shannah at ZWF Miami

  • Bella’s macaw at ZWF Miami

  • Bella’s macaw at ZWF Miami

  • Bella’s macaw at ZWF Miami

  • Bella’s macaw at ZWF Miami

Live Like Bella!

At just four years old, Bella Rodriguez-Torres became paralyzed with a large tumor in her spine. The consensus of international medical experts was that Bella would never walk again and had only a few months to live. They didn’t count on Bella’s extraordinary will to live.

A combination of medical treatments, prayers from well-wishers around the world, and the love and support of her family enabled Bella to go into remission. She was even able to walk and run again! The miraculous child from Miami fought cancer six times before passing away in 2013 at age 10.

Bella’s memory – her love of life, courage, faith, and compassion for others – lives on. While Bella was undergoing surgery in 2012, her sister Shannah posted a challenge to “Bella’s Believers” on Facebook. She urged them to “Live Like Bella,” to enjoy life and appreciate each moment. #Live Like Bella went “viral,” encircling the globe in tweets, media posts, and tags, even appearing on buildings and overpasses. In June 2013, the Live Like Bella Foundation was created to fund research for pediatric cancer and help patients’ families.

We at ZWF were honored when Bella’s parents and Shannah came to visit in January. At the end of their visit, they surprised us by donating Bella’s two beloved Macaws. We will cherish these beautiful birds and do our part to keep alive the memory and legacy of the child who loved them. If you too are moved by Bella’s inspiring story and want to help or donate, please visit