Shannon Tavarez Passes Away at 11

[There are so many reports of children disappearing or being killed that I generally find myself passing them by looking for solid political news. But I must confess that the death of Shannon Tavarez stopped me short. I recall the efforts earlier to assist her with an umbilical-cord transplant in late August. Had that succeeded and she had lived on, she would undoubtedly have been a star. And how many must have seen her in her Broadway role. This struck me as a legitimate report and not just the sordid entertainment made of harms to children on so many occasions.

The Apollo Theater in Harlem is not far from where we lived (and still do). If her death was reported earlier, I somehow missed it.

Ordinarily I only cite fragments as backups to blogs that I do, but in this instance I am going to run the entire report. Living near the Apollo we had many ties with Harlem beginning when we were grad students in the l960s. Our hearts go out to Shannon’s family and all who knew her. How much talent manifested at such a young age! If there is a heaven, I hope she is happily enjoying continuing the expression of her talents there. Ed Kent]


Shannon Tavarez Passes Away at 11

Monday, November 1, 2010; Posted: 09:11 PM – by BWW News Desk

LION_KINGs_Tavarez_to_Receive_Lifesaving_Luekemia_Treatment_20010101 has learned the sad news that, 11 year old Shannon Tavarez who received an umbilical-cord transplant in late August to combat her acute myeloid leukemia has passed away. The soprano from Queens recently played Young Nala in The Lion King on Broadway.

Serving as an alternative to a bone-marrow transplant, Shannon received the umbilical-cord blood from an anonymous donor, as doctors were unable to find a bone marrow match. Since her diagnosis last spring, she had been through extensive chemotherapy and had spent most of her days and nights in the children’s ward of a hospital in New York. She has recently been in a children’s ICU struggling to stabilize.

Shannon got the role of Young Nala after her first open audition at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. She attended Harlem School of the Arts for vocals and piano from the age of 3. Her coach was the person who encouraged her to audition. She made her Broadway debut in September of 2009, and she played four of eight shows a week until April when her symptoms began.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Shannon’s friends, family and all who knew and loved her.

And, to further Shannon’s mission and Shannon’s family’s devotion to recruiting donors, click here to find out about

Read more:

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent [blind copies]

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