Blood drives to help young Broadway star

July 18, 2010 8:27:15 PM PDT
One of Broadway's youngest stars is fighting a life-threatening illness.

Shannon Tavarez's singing and acting abilities took her all the way to Broadway, playing "Nala" in the stage production of "The Lion King".

But just seven months into her run, the 11 year old actress was sidelined from the spotlight when she was diagnosed with leukemia.

Now, she's in the fight of her young life.

In the Theater District Sunday, nearly 400 people registered as bone marrow donors, in hopes of helping Shannon beat the disease.

Doctors say a transplant is her best shot at recovery.

Potential donors who are not a match for Shannon, may be able to help someone else.

A simple swab sample is all that's needed to find out if a person is a potential match.

It's a 10 second test that could offer someone like Shannon the gift of a lifetime.

A second bone marrow drive to benefit Shannon will be held on Friday, July 23rd from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. outside the Minskoff Theatre where "The Lion King" plays.

Once Shannon is well, she hopes to resume her acting career.

She starts sixth grade this fall.

To learn more about Shannon or to register with DKMS visit