The foundation set up by a Bellerose girl who starred as Young Nala in “The Lion King” on Broadway raised $10,000 during a Manhattan fund-raiser last week.
Shannon Tavarez, 12, died of leukemia in November 2010 after she could not find a bone marrow donor.
She was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia in the spring of 2010 after Shannon started to experience flu-like symptoms, back and leg achiness and fatigue, according to the foundation’s website.
Shannon, who lived in Bellerose, starred as Young Nala in “The Lion King,” a part she won on her first-ever audition, but dropped out of the Broadway production after she was stricken with cancer.
“Shannon’s stage presence, beautiful voice and outgoing personality made a huge impact on all those that came in contact with her,” the foundation said on its website.
She set up a foundation called Shannon’s S.H.A.R.E. in April 2010 to encourage minorities to become bone marrow donors — a group that is underrepresented in the donor pool.
Because she could not find a donor, Shannon underwent an experimental stem cell treatment from umbilical cord blood, but succumbed to the cancer shortly after the operation.
The foundation took in about $10,000 in donations during the gala last week at the Juliet Supper Club.
More than 15,000 people, including 50 Cent, registered as bone marrow donors in Shannon’s name due to publicity the foundation received.
A Manhattan fund-raiser held last week brought in about $10,000, according to a spokeswoman for the foundation.
To learn more about Shannon’s S.H.A.R.E., to become a donor or organize a bone marrow drive, visit shannonsshare.org.
Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at hkoplowitz
©2011 Community News Group
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