Shannon Tavarez Passes Away

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Shannon Tavarez, a young actress who won a featured role on Broadway in The Lion King, lost her battle with leukemia earlier this week. She was 11.

The sixth-grader's plight became well-documented earlier this year when her quest to find a suitable bone marrow donor caught the eye of celebrities.

Several stars, including Alicia Keys, Rihanna and 50 Cent, were particularly moved, and appealed to fans to register as donors for Shannon Tavarez.

R.I.P. Shannon Tavarez (1999-2010).

Shannon's death was first reported via statement from Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York, where she passed away.

In The Lion King she played young Nala, a lion cub who was the best friend of Simba, the show’s lead character. She beat out hundreds for the role.

“She was fearless, as a performer and as a young woman,” Ron Vodicka, the production manager for The Lion King, said in an interview Tuesday.

“She was never intimidated and she was constantly happy. After she was diagnosed, all she talked about was when she could come back.”

Surfing legend Andy Irons also died this week. May both rest in peace.