MIAMI (CBSMiami) — The coronavirus pandemic has forced closures and cancellations of mostly everything in our lives and that includes fundraisers. But that is not stopping one City of Miami Police Officer who is pedaling for a purpose.

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and for years police officers and first responders have been hitting the road on their bikes riding hundreds of miles in honor a very special little girl. Bella Rodriguez-Torres, who lost her battle to cancer in 2013 when she was only 10 years old.

Unfortunately, like everything else, the pandemic forced them to cancel this year’s bike ride where they raise awareness and support the Live Like Bella Foundation and their mission to end childhood cancer.

However, Joe McCrink a City of Miami Police Officer is not letting the coronavirus get in the way of his goal.

“My goal is to ride 1,000 miles the month of September. 1,000 is my goal to raise $15,000,” explained McCrink to CBS4 News.

“I’ve been a police officer for 23 years and I have never seen the community, young people so upset with what’s going on in the world with policing.  There are a lot of good police officers out there that care about their community and I wanted to do something where I could give back to my community and something that affects everyone. It doesn’t matter how old you are, black or white, it affects everyone,” said McCrink.

In years past, officers have ridden in a group to Key West and Orlando for Bella, whose unstoppable attitude inspired the bike ride.

Bella Rodriguez-Torres (Source: Raymond Rodriguez-Torres)

But this year due to the circumstances, Officer McCrink is riding alone and believes while we are all still socially distant, we can still do our part to Live Like Bella and help put an end to childhood cancer.

“We’re upset we can’t go to a movie or large gatherings and football games but what about the children that need cancer treatment and can’t get it or it gets pushed back or delayed.  Stuff like that fills my head when I ride,” he explained.

Unfortunately, this year’s Bella’s Ball has also been canceled, but they are asking all Bella Believers to join their first ever virtual “Get active for kids with cancer” event on September 26.

For more information on how to register, go to the Live Like Bella website.

You can also support Officer McCrink’s fundraising effort by clicking here.

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