Shannon Tavarez Passes Away at 11
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by BWW News Desk
BroadwayWorld.com has learned the sad news that, 11 year old Shannon Tavarez who received an umbilical-cord transplant in late August to combat her acute myeloid leukemia has passed away. The soprano from Queens recently played Young Nala in The Lion King on Broadway.
Serving as an alternative to a bone-marrow transplant, Shannon received the umbilical-cord blood from an anonymous donor, as doctors were unable to find a bone marrow match. Since her diagnosis last spring, she had been through extensive chemotherapy and had spent most of her days and nights in the children's ward of a hospital in New York. She has recently been in a children's ICU struggling to stabilize.
Shannon got the role of Young Nala after her first open audition at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. She attended Harlem School of the Arts for vocals and piano from the age of 3. Her coach was the person who encouraged her to audition. She made her Broadway debut in September of 2009, and she played four of eight shows a week until April when her symptoms began.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Shannon's friends, family and all who knew and loved her.
And, to further Shannon's mission and Shannon's family's devotion to recruiting donors, click here to find out about GetSwabbed.org.