Lion King star Shannon Tavarez has died of cancer at age 11 after a lengthy battle with Leukemia. Tavarez touched pop stars Rihanna and Alicia Keys and sparked a nationwide search for a bone-marrow match that ultimately never came to fruition.
Shannon Tavarez came to fame for her performance in the Lion King as a budding Broadway star. Her battle with Leukemia attracted the attention of both Rihanna and Keys, according to a Yahoo! report.
Keys and Rihanna were among the most vocal in Tavarez's search for a bone-marrow match, and thanks in large part to the celebrity participation more than 8,000 people ultimately signed up as donors.
Unfortunately, no match was found.
It's a sad day when any young person loses a battle with such a crippling disease, regardless of whether or not the victim is a celebrity. But the potential upside to stories like those about Shannon Tavarez and her battle with Leukemia is the spotlight it sheds on the issue.
Keys and Rihanna are already involved, and if the Tavarez story inspires anyone else around the world to donate money or time or anything at all to help those in need, it should be considered a positive.
In the end, Shannon Tavarez had a life cut way too short by a terrible disease. But that doesn't mean she can't leave a legacy that lasts years longer.
Let's hope that's the case.