The Garcia Family’s Journey from Hardship to Hope
Amidst tough times and health battles, Bella Garcia and her family’s story shows how they turned hard times into hope and help for others. From simple lemonade stands to support the homeless, to facing Bella’s rare medical condition, the Garcia family has opened their own bakery, Bella’s Dulce Sweets & Treats. This move is not just about running a business, but about keeping their family strong and helping others along the way.
“Back on October 14, 2020, I gave birth to my son and had a uterine rupture,” Bella’s mother Rosalinda said. “So, he was in the NICU for a while. Going to one of our NICU trips, my daughter saw the people who were living outside—that’s when tons of questions came into her little head: ‘Why are they there? It’s cold outside and there are apartments there. Why can’t they live there?’ To us, as parents, they were really good questions. We wanted to help her give back.”
Bella started with lemonade stands and selling pretzels, chocolate-dipped strawberries, and cookies. With the money she earned, she for the homeless shelters, 4 Luv of Dog, and the Homeward Animal Shelters.
Then, she was diagnosed with a vascular malformation in her arm. Despite the diagnosis, Bella was able to fill 370 Christmas stockings for people in need.
“It was tough for all of us in the family, but we wanted to pull together and still give back despite what we were going through,” Rosalinda said.
Bella eventually had surgery, which was supposed to take care of the problem. Unfortunately, earlier this year, it came back and it came back more complex. This required more procedures and surgeries which have led to a number of complications, including necrosis which has required transfusions, wound care, and skin grafting.
“We’ve been going back and forth from Mayo almost every other week now,” Rosalinda said. “Because of that, my husband and I decided to take a leap of faith and open the bakery so we could be in control of our schedules.”
Since opening on July 1, the Garcias have been busy trying to grow the business by marketing, going to vendor events, and improving their website.
“It’s pretty difficult right now because we have to be closed periodically for Bella’s doctor appointments in Rochester,” Rosalinda said. “At the moment, we’re barely cutting even. But, there are a lot of awesome people that believe in us and our dream and our kids love the little family business. The kids have helped us with so many ideas for the business.”
“This is our business,” Rosalinda said. “This is our life now. This is something that we’re going to pass on to our children. We’re first-time homeowners in our family and we’re basically the first to go to school. We’re the first that have been able to start a business. We want to break the cycle of poverty and, eventually, we would like to start giving back again once everything is settled.”
What the future of that giving back looks like is not entirely set in stone yet for the Garcias. However, Rosalinda and Bella really want to be able to do something for families next Christmas. They also have a goal to help other families going through complex medical issues.
“That’s super important because there are so many organizations out there to help families going through cancer, but my daughter doesn’t have cancer—she just has a really rare disease,” Rosalinda said. “What she has [like many rare diseases] can’t be treated locally. So, we have to go to Mayo. I don’t think a lot of people understand the burden of that. That’s why we want to help people in similar situations.”
At the time of our interview in November, Rosalinda said that Bella is nervous about her upcoming procedure in December, but that the support of family and friends has helped a lot.
“She really wants to play volleyball next year,” Rosalinda said. “She wants to get healed and play volleyball—that is the biggest thing on her list right now.”
“At 11, she’s our heart of gold, filled with a passion for helping others and sparking innovative ideas!”
“Our official taste tester and the inspiration behind our dino-riffic treats!”
“At 3, he’s the heart of our cookie testing and treats shop reorganization!”