shannon tavarez

Photo Credit: Rick Maiman/AP Images

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August 17, 2010

The lovely young star of "The Lion King" on Broadway is doing well after undergoing an operation that will help the actress in her fight against leukemia. 11-year-old Shannon Tavarez, who played Nala in the hit musical, received a transplant of umbilical cord blood from an anonymous donor on Tuesday. She underwent what her family hopes will be a life-saving operation. According to New York 1 News, "The operation has been used for several years as an alternative to bone marrow for treating leukemia." Several bone marrow drives were held, but no one was found to be a match, but The Jamaica Performing Arts Center and New York Blood Center are holding more drives this week in honor of Tavarez, a Queens, NY resident.

Anyone who wants to know if they are a match for Tavarez, or another person in need, can register at to become a potential marrow donor. The process takes just a few minutes of paperwork and a cheek swab. For additional information about becoming a marrow donor, please call 1-800-MARROW-2.
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