5O Cent steps up for sick Broadway actress
JAMAICA (WABC) -- Each night, Shannon Tavarez touched the lives of thousands on Broadway.
Now the 11-year-old soprano's battle with life threatening cancer is breaking the hearts many, including rapper 50 Cent, who held a donor drive at his community garden in Jamaica, Queens.
"A lot of kids don't have donors in their families, so they have to look to strangers for help," 50 Cent said.
50 Cent is one of those strangers.
He registered as a donor and made a video to help Shannon find a donor.
"We've had close to 4,000 people register in two days. That has never happened before," said DKMP Representative Alina Suprunova.
Shannon lived every little girl's dream-performing as young Nala in "The Lion King" on Broadway.
That dream disappeared in April when she was diagnosed with leukemia, and she's been fighting for her life ever since.
This Tuesday, Shannon will have a potentially live-saving operation.
She will get a transplant of umbilical-cord blood, which is an alternative to bone marrow for treating leukemia.
Her mother and doctors opted for the treatment because she still doesn't have a bone marrow match.
"I know a lot of people came out for the attention but either way we got people to swab and become potential matches. Whatever way we can do it. Not only for Shannon but for other people who are ill," said Shannon's aunt, Gulda Tavarez.
Right now, Shannon is undergoing intensive chemotherapy to prepare for her transplant.
Her family says she calls this her "new birthday."
new york city, leukemia, local news, carolina leid
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