Young Broadway star Shannon Tavarez is recovering in hospital following a potentially life-saving operation in her ongoing battle with leukaemia. The 11-year-old actress, who played the young Nala in hit musical "The Lion King", was forced to quit the show in April after she was diagnosed with acute leukaemia.
She has been in desperate need of a bone marrow transplant to survive, and stars including Alicia Keys, Rihanna and 50 Cent have all thrown their support behind her search for a suitable match, with the "In Da Club" star even registering himself as a potential donor.
A match for Tavarez could not be found, and she received an umbilical-cord blood transplant at New York's Cohen Children's Medical Center on Tuesday, August 17. The procedure was performed as an alternative to a bone marrow transplant but could be the key to saving her life.
A family friend tells the New York Post the young star will remain in hospital under observation for an undefined period as doctors ensure her body does not reject the transplant.