‘Lion King’ musical star Shannon Tavares dies at age 11

November 3rd, 2010 - 1:29 am ICT by BNO News  

NEW YORK (BNO NEWS) — Actress Shannon Tavares, who starred in the famous Broadway musical “The Lion King”, died at age 11 on Monday after a battle with leukemia, her family confirmed on Tuesday.

Tavares suffered from lower back and leg pain and was diagnosed last April with acute myeloid leukemia, also known as AML. This type of cancer causes a rapid and abnormal growth of white blood cells in the bone marrow, interfering with the normal blood cell production.

The young actress, originally from the New York City borough of Queens, began her Broadway career in September 2009 when she appeared at the Minskoff Theatre four times a week. She played Young Nala in “The Lion King.”

Tavarez was receiving treatment at Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York in Long Island, where doctors said a bone marrow transfer was the only way for her to survive. Unable to find a correct match, however, she received chemotherapy and an umbilical-cord transplant.

A strong campaign with supporters that included international stars such as Alicia Keys, Rihanna, and 50 cent, fought to find a donor, but the search was unsuccessful.

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