Shannon Tavarez, who dazzled audiences on Broadway as young Nala in Disney’s musical adaptation of the “Lion King” was diagnosed with an aggressive from of leukemia this past April. The beautiful 11-year-old is in need of a bone marrow transplant from a genetically matched donor.
According to ABC News, Shannon is part African American and part Hispanic. Both groups are underrepresented in the registry of potential bone marrow donors. According to the National Bone Marrow Program, of the 7 million Americans listed as donors, only 7 percent, or about 550,000, are African-American. Only 3 percent are Hispanic and 2 percent Asian. Shannon has no siblings and the chances of finding a match will prove to be difficult.
So Shannon needs your help to continue to live her dream. Become a bone marrow donor today!
If you register online, or request a kit by email or phone, you will receive a bone marrow donor kit in the mail. The kit consists of:
• One packet of cotton cheek swabs (each packet contains two swabs)
• Instructions on how to collect cheek cells
• Self-addressed mailing packet
In short, you swab the inside of your cheek, and mail the swabs to the lab in the self-addressed mailer. It takes about 4-6 weeks for your tissue to be DNA-typed. Once the typing is completed, you will be entered in the national registry, and you will receive a donor card in the mail.
To get a bone marrow donor kit, please visit www.dkmsamericas.org.
Shannon’s mother remains hopeful. And this is what she had to say about her special little girl:
“She’s an energetic, very intelligent and very articulate girl, full of life. She is always excited, always asking questions and has this infectious spirit and knows how to pull people in. They all fall in love with her. I know—I am her mother—but that’s the thing with her.”
Make a difference! Get your registration kit today and become a bone marrow donor. Help Shannon continue to live her dream…..