Young 'Lion King' thespian gets blood transplant

August 17, 2010 3:04:23 PM PDT
An 11-year-old girl who played young Nala in "The Lion King" on Broadway has undergone a potentially lifesaving procedure.

Shannon Tavarez, who has leukemia, received an umbilical-cord blood transplant on Tuesday at Cohen Children's Medical Center in New Hyde Park, on Long Island. The procedure was performed as an alternative to a bone marrow transplant. Her doctor said they were unable to find a perfect bone marrow match for Shannon.

A family friend says Shannon will remain in the hospital under observation while physicians ensure that her body does not reject the blood transplant.

The actress was forced to quit the show in April. Cast members held a bone marrow donor registration drive for her last month.

DKMS donor registry