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

11 Year Old Broadway “Lion King” Star Shannon Tavarez Dies From Leukemia…

11 year-old Broadway star of the Lion King, Shannon Tavarez has lost her fight against a rare form of leukemia Monday,succumbing to a blood clot in her brain.

Shannon Tavarez and her mom...all smiles!!!

Shannon Tavarez and her mom...all smiles!!!

Katharina Harf, co-founder of the bone marrow donor center DKMS confirmed the news that the 11-year-old succumbed to her illness despite receiving groundbreaking treatment.(Source)

Corbin Bleu,Alicia Keys, Rihanna and 50 Cent , her fellow Broadway cast mates, and many other citizens, came together to campaign to help Tavarez find a bone marrow donor, and held bone marrow donor registration drives.

Harf said the donor center registered 10,000 people as potential donors because of Tavarez.

Shannon, who played the young lion Nala, had received an umbilical-cord blood transplant in August. The procedure was performed as an alternative to a bone marrow transplant. Her doctor, Dr. Larry Wolfe, said that a perfect bone marrow match for Shannon could not be found.

Shannon as young Nala from The Lion KIng on Broadway...

Shannon as young Nala from The Lion KIng on Broadway...

It is more difficult to find a match from a donor of marrow for a marrow transplants for African-Americans,and  minorities as well as those of mixed ancestry have a more difficult time finding good matches because there aren’t as many people from those groups signed up as potential donors.(NY Daily News)

Right now, 83 percent of African-American patients who need marrow transplants don’t find matches after six months of searching!!!

Alicia Keys often communicated with Tavarez while she was at the hospital through the computer, Harf said, and the singer,Rihanna and 50 Cent urged their fans to sign up as potential donors.(Source)

[picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=rihanna&iid=10073016″ src=”″ width=”234″ height=”346″ /]

I would like to send my condolences to her family,as I know that the death of such a wonderful young family member is devastating to deal with.

Shannon Tavarez made a positive impact on the world in the short time that she was here.She went after her dreams,perfected her craft, and brought joy and entertainment to all that witnessed her performances.

I dim the lights and tip my hat to little Shannon Tavarez….May you rest in peace!!!

Here is Shannon singing “tomorrow”…




Hollywood Reporter

One Response to “11 Year Old Broadway “Lion King” Star Shannon Tavarez Dies From Leukemia…”

  1. how sad. 😦

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