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PostHeaderIcon Broadway Rallies for Lion King Star – Shannon Tavarez

Today, Shannon’s “Lion King” cast mates are coming together to hold a drive at the Minskoff Theater in Times Square, hoping to find a donor match.

Those who would like to become bone marrow donors, can go online to and sign up for a swab kit that will be sent in the mail.

Results are sent to a lab for genetic testing and if it’s a match for anyone in the database, including Shannon, the donor receives a call.

“They’re having a drive in the lobby, and I hope a lot of people come out because they can save my life or anyone else who’s going through what I’m going through,” said Shannon.

“It’s a great feeling, performing for people and being young Nala, because she’s tough and I feel like that’s who I am through this whole experience,” said Shannon.

Shannon, who has no siblings, is part African-American and part hispanic, but of the 7 million Americans listed as potential donors, only 12 percent are minorities.

“She’s just a great kid,” said Joel Karie, a Broadway cast member.

Shannon was hospitalized for two months, undergoing chemotherapy. She temporarily lost her hair but suffered no other side effects like nausea or loss of appetite. She gave her family a scare when she developed an IV line infection, but it later resolved.


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