Jerrybrice's Blog
The intersection of animation, entertainment, and politics

11 Year Old Broadway Disney’s ‘Lion King’ Actress Shannon Tavarez, Seeks Bone Marrow Donor In Her Battle With Leukemia…

Today I was struck by the news about a bone marrow search for 11-year-old Broadway “Lion King” actress Shannon Tavarez.  Shannon Tavarez, a native of Queens, landed the role of young Nala in the hit musical “The Lion King” on Broadway. Shannon was able to win the part of Young Nala in her first open audition.(SOURCE)

Her Broadway debut in the hit Disney musical was last fall…

In April, after playing the role for seven months, she was diagnosed with Acute Leukemia, and she desperately requires a bone marrow transplant in order to survive.

Broadway Star Shannon Tavarez

Broadway Star Shannon Tavarez

The young actress’s plight has gained her the aggressive and vocal support of recording artist and JerryBrice’s Blog favorites, Alicia Keys and Rihanna. The two R&B stars called on their supporters to register as potential donors so Tavarez and others like her can have a chance at overcoming the deadly and rare disease.(SOURCE)

Unfortunately, her ethnicity plays an important role in her treatment,but a match is out there. Shannon is bi-racial, of African-American and Hispanic descent. Both groups are hugely underrepresented in the donor pool.

According to the National Marrow Donor Program, only 7% or 600,000 of the 8 million registered bone marrow donors are African-American. Added to that is the complexity of African-Americans diverse tissue type.(SOURCE)

That means that only 17 percent of African-Americans in need of a transplant will actually receive one, so it is our duty to our people to increase these odds. A lot of the problem stems from old fears and wives tales, and religious beliefs.

In the face of those daunting statistics,the public appeal and promotion by Rhianna and Alicia Keys  appears to have worked – around 385 people attended a bone marrow drive in New York on Sunday!!!…Go New York!

Recently, I suffered the sudden loss of a close relative ,and to my surprise he had designated himself to be an organ donor, which caused me some concern, because I did not want him to be dismembered,but, that is not what happened at all.(WIKI)

[picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=alicia+keys&iid=9242352″ src=”″ width=”234″ height=”313″ /]

In the end, my relative’s organ donations helped several people to live, and in the wake of losing my cousin,knowing that he assisted several citizens to live and survive their personal health battles, made us all feel proud that he decided to be a donor.

It truly changed my whole perception about organ donation, and in this case,bone marrow can be regenerated by the donor, and you will live to see the effects your donation had on a life, like little Shannon Tavarez.

[picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=rhianna&iid=7767119″ src=”″ width=”234″ height=”351″ /]

The successful campaign was organized by the bone marrow registry DKMS at St. Malachy’s Roman Catholic Church, in the theatre district.
The goal of the drive is to lend a hand in the recovery of Shannon. However, the funds will also be used for the treatment of other cancer patients suffering from this dreaded disease, as well, and this is the part that pleases Shannon the most.
If you missed the drive last Sunday, or did not hear about it and want to help, another bone marrow drive will be organized at the Minskoff Theatre, The Lion King’s Broadway home, on July 23 from 10 a. m. to 3 p. m., for the young Broadway star.(Source)
To date, Shannon has had two rounds of chemotherapy…I pray that she finds a match and can overcome this disease.
Let’s all pull together so Shannon’s story can have a good old Disney ending!!! To become a donor visit DKMS Americas or The National Marrow Donor Program, which operates the national registry.

Broadway "Lion KIng" Actress Shannon Tavarez Needs A Bone Marrow Donor match...

Broadway "Lion KIng" Actress Shannon Tavarez Needs A Bone Marrow Donor match...

For more on this story, follow these trusted links…

Huffington Post

NY Daily News

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