Broadway star Shannon Tavarez passes away at 11
Shannon Tavarez, the 11 year-old Broadway star who was battling acute myeloid leukemia, has passed away, reports Broadway World. The actress played Young Nala in "The Lion King" September 2009 until April, when she was diagnosed after the symptoms hit her onstage.
The soprano from Queens, New York, garnered the attention of celebrities such as Rihanna and Alicia Keys, who both campaigned to find a bone-marrow donor for her. Doctors were unable to find a donor, so as an alternative, Tavarez received an umbicial-cord blood treatment in August.
Tavarez attended the Harlem School of the Arts for vocals and piano from the age of 3 and won her "Lion King" role after her first open audition, according to Broadway World.
In June 2009, Zap2it reported on Tavarez's struggle to find a bone-marrow match and provided information on how to register to become a donor.
Our thoughts and prayers are with her loved ones.