Bella Muntean-Angel Heart of HOPE Ministry was founded by and is in memory of Bella Muntean. Bella spent most of her 15 years performing selfless acts for others in need, giving all the glory to God.
She has shown how God can take the efforts of one small individual and touch thousands of hearts worldwide - even in the midst of her struggle with cancer. Imagine what God can do through you! We invite you to not only read the miraculous stories of Bella and her friends but to share your stories as well.
Bella was your typical fun loving, joyful and healthy child. She only had an antibiotic once in 12 years prior to her diagnosis. She was in gymnastics, then spent several years in jazz and ballet dance, was part of the Jr. Cotillion, an avid flute player (accepted into State a week before her cancer diagnosis) and a straight A student being part of the Duke Tip program. Her dream was to attend Clemson or Harvard. She had a passion for photography, traveling and community service. While growing up in MI before she moved to SC in 2nd grade, Bella enjoyed ringing the bell with her sister, Julia, for Salvation Army, was active in the church, helping out at the soup kitchen and serving the homeless.
One man who was homeless, Chris, rode his bicycle everywhere, even during the Michigan winter, and Bella befriended him. Bella and her mom would meet him at McDonald's across from where they lived and visit with him. He would have icicles in
his beard and they offered him to stay with them, which he visited once for a warm meal but preferred to meet at McDonald's. They tried to help him through the church and he did attend once or twice. He loved talking with Bella and was a former engineer who became an alcoholic and lost everything. Even then, Bella had such compassion for others who were hurting and had problems.
"But Jesus Beheld Them, And Said Unto Them, With Men This is Impossible; But With God, All Things Are Possible."
BELLA'S GIFTS AND TALENTS
Photos above from left to right: Bella at jazz recital April 2013, Bella at jazz recital April 2015, Bella at her ballet recital May 2014, and Bella before Jr. Cotillion Ball April 2015.
Bella Muntean (12 yrs. old) playing the flute in 7th grade for a competition which she was accepted into State the weekend before her cancer diagnosis.
About a year before Bella passed, her parents realized that she could play the piano by memory, without music sheets, from any song she heard. She had a gift to play by ear and it was a gift from God.
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Bella playing “City of Stars” around Thanksgiving 2017 had over 4400 likes on an Instagram post, shared 6 months after her passing.
A COMPASSIONATE HEART
Muntean family at a Romanian Orthodox Monastery in June 2009
While visiting Dorin's family in Romania when Bella was 6 years old, it was during a trip to an orphanage that impacted Bella's heart forever. Bella heard her parents speak about the orphanages there, insisting to pack a suitcase full of her clothes and toys for the children. When they delivered the items, a 4-5 yr old mute girl in a crib was excitedly reaching her hands out to Bella.
Brenda said, "The most memorable thing happened next. Bella removed the necklace around her neck and placed it around the little girl's neck and hugged her. I stood there with tears streaming down my face and the girls were both full of smiles and laughing! They couldn't speak to each other but the language of love is universal and of God. We wanted to take all of the children home with us. Bella often spoke of this memory which inspired her continuation with selfless acts of kindness.”
Also, in 5th grade, out of the 10 hours required for community service through Beta Club, Bella completed 106 hours by the end of the school year. She performed many deeds for the residents of the nursing home where her grandma resided at the time. But, one of her favorite things was raising money for a local boy, Joe, who had cancer and wanted to go to Legoland through Make A Wish. Bella made loom band bracelets and sold them everywhere including the grocery lines, at school, church, and at a garage sale where she had a table just for Joe:) She raised over $600 by herself and her parents added an additional amount. Bella mentioned several times during her cancer journey that she never realized one day she would be a recipient of an amazing Make A Wish trip.
In the same 5th-grade year, Bella was nominated by her lovely teacher, Bakita Knebel, and selected as one of "10 Students Who Make A Difference" in the Upstate Parent's Magazine. In this article, Bella is holding a photo of an acrylic painting that she painted when she was 10 years old, competed against 5th-8th graders in the State of SC at the Beta Club Convention, and won 2nd place. She wanted to paint the bird yellow (which is her type of cancer ribbon color) and gave it the title "Random Acts of Kindness." This was all part of God's plan.
Even during her cancer treatment, Bella raised $1,100 by herself on Instagram to purchase over 40 various sized American Girl dolls at the AG Benefit Sale to give to children with cancer and life-threatening illnesses. Brenda said, “We always tried to teach Bella and Julia the importance of giving back because your life can truly change in an instant, like ours did, and you never know when you will be needing help.”
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS
Bella set up a station to raise money for "Joe"- April 2014
Cookies Bella helped make for the staff at the nursing home - Feb 2014
Bella won a cake walk & donated it to the soup kitchen.
Samaritan's Purse boxes Bella prepared - Dec 2013
BELLA'S UNWAVERING FAITH
It is every parent's worst nightmare hearing the words "Your child has cancer or a life-threatening illness." On January 16, 2016, at the age of 12, Bella was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. Despite all of her daily suffering and numerous physical challenges, Bella gave it all to God. With a smile on her face and unwavering faith, Bella inspired people of all ages worldwide, even those of different languages, religions, and cultures.
Bella was inspired to create her charity, Angels Of Hope, during her cancer treatment from an angel drawn on her pillowcase by her pre-operative nurse, Pam Wrobel. The angel brought her so much comfort and hope that she kept it with her at every hospital stay. Bella suggested taking the pillowcases and filling them with gifts to help children undergoing chemotherapy.
A Note From Bella’s Mom:
“Bella died peacefully in my arms with my husband, Dorin, at her side but my greatest joy is knowing that Bella is with God and more alive than ever. I have received messages from people all over telling me how Bella's unwavering faith impacted their life and how she ministered to their problems. We had no idea until she passed that she was ministering to others. This was ALL God, using Bella’s immense love while suffering to ignite faith and change lives!! We are so blessed. God is Love which is our HOPE.”
Brenda continues Bella's Instagram account at which had over 24,000 followers worldwide. Bella was an avid American Girl photographer within the AGIG community but her ministry and unwavering faith is what drew people from all ages, different countries, religions and races to her. She told and taught everyone with humility that "GOD is LOVE."
1 John 4:8
Bella with hair shaved off - March 2016
Bella being scanned at Cleveland Clinic - 2017
Bella’s lungs with too many tumors to count - April 2017
Bella with her love of photography - 2017
“For He shall give His angels charge over Thee,
to keep Thee in all Thy ways"
BELLA'S "GIFT" TO SEE ANGELS
Also, since Bella was 4 years old, continuing throughout her life and cancer journey, she shared with her mother many instances where she could see spirits and angels. Bella was never afraid of death and her family knows this is because God showed her a glimpse of the beauty and peace on the other side. It was evident that God had His hand on her life protecting her with His angels, love and mercy.
Eventually, Brenda plans to write a book to give others hope in the Love of God by sharing these spiritual experiences along with Bella's ministry to others, unbeknownst to her parents, with stories and messages sent to them after her passing.
Now, as Brenda, Dorin and Julia continue daily to face the painful loss of their beloved Bella, they are forever inspired and encouraged by their young daughter/sister who never wavered in her faith for God. They felt led to continue her legacy by honoring God and His blessing of bringing Bella's dreams of this non-profit to fruition. 2 Corinthians 12:9 My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.
Artwork by Kathy Strauss
A CARING HEART
Sean Pollard-Clemson Football National Champions Alumni
From Bella's mom-"The first time that we met Sean, there was this special bond between he and Bella. He called often to check on Bella and talk with her. Sean kept reminding her that he was going to be her date for the Prom; Bella would always smile. It meant so much to Bella that a famous Clemson football player would think of and pray for her.
Sean even drove on a school night 45 minutes to attend a prayer vigil for Bella when she was on hospice. Three weeks before Bella passed away, Sean asked to visit Bella because he wanted to give her a special gift. Even though she was so sick, you can see the joy on her face in receiving this very special jersey that Sean wore in the OH State game that took them to the National Championship. The whole team and Coach Dabo signed it which was so kind of everyone! Bella was elated!
We will always be grateful for Sean's compassion and love of Bella. He will always have a special place in our hearts and we wish him many blessings in all of his future endeavors. "