Help Save The Life of Young ‘Lion King’ Star Shannon Tavarez [UPDATED]

Shannon Tavarez

Shannon Tavarez

UPDATE 11/2/10: It saddens us to announce the passing of Shannon Tavarez. She was only 11 years-old.

The future was looking extremely bright for 10 year-old aspiring actress  Shannon Tavarez when she landed the role of Nala in the Broadway production of “The Lion King.” Shannon was diagnosed with  leukemia soon after and is in dire need of a bone marrow transplant.  Due to Shannon’s mixed heritage, she is having trouble finding a match.

“Shannon is of African-American and Latin decent and the most likely match would be found in someone who shares a similar ethnic background to hers. Unfortunately, only 15% of the 8 million registered donors worldwide are African-American or Latino which makes finding a match that much more difficult,” says Nahdi Mukomana, a close family friend and lead organizer of the Bone Marrow Drive. “

According to reports, only 7% of registered bone marrow donors are African-American.  Even less for Hispanics.

Those of you who would like to become bone marrow donors, can go online to DKMS and sign up for an at-home swab test to be mailed to you.  You will receive a call if you are a match.

Upcoming donor drives:

July 31, 2010
Harlem Children’s Zone
35 East 125th St.
New York, NY 10035