Shannon Tavarez – the little girl from Queens with a big voice who fought a courageous battle against leukemia – has died, it was reported yesterday.
The pretty, 11-year-old soprano, who played Young Nala in “The Lion King” on Broadway, succumbed to the disease after getting an umbilical cord transplant in late August that doctors hoped would save her life, according to BroadwayWorld.com.
Her plight had prompted more than 8,000 people from around the country to sign up as bone-marrow donors in a campaign in her name.
But no marrow match could be found, so she underwent the umbilical cord transplant as an alternate treatment.
Rapper 50 Cent played a big part in the outpouring of offers of help to the Bellerose schoolgirl with a megawatt smile, making a YouTube video about getting his cheek swabbed to become a marrow donor.
In less than a week, more than 3,600 people had signed up as donors online through donor center DKMS Americas.
Shannon had undergone extensive chemotherapy since she learned she had leukemia last spring. Recently, she had been struggling to stabilize in an intensive care unit, BroadwayWorld.com said.
Shannon got the break of her young life last year, nailing the role of Young Nala after her first open audition at the Apollo Theater in Harlem.
From the age of 3, she attended the Harlem School of the Arts for vocals and piano, where her coach encouraged her to audition.
She made her Broadway debut in September 2009 and played four of eight shows a week until April.
Neither Shannon’s mom, Odney Brown, nor a family spokesman could be reached for comment last night.