Honored media guests at the gala will include Dr. Steve Salvatore and producer Melanie Jordan (PIX11), Cindy Hsu (CBS), Nicole Johnson (Fox 5) and radio/TV personality Wendy Williams.
"Throughout her battle with cancer, Shannon's best chance for survival relied on a bone marrow match so that a successful transplant could be performed," said Tavarez's mother, Odiney Brown, in a statement. "But the search for a suitable donor was extremely difficult due to the lack of minorities within the national bone marrow registry."
Family, friends and celebrities including the cast of The Lion King, Alicia Keys, Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson and Rihanna supported Tavarez's fight and helped spread the word as she searched for African-American and Hispanic bone marrow. Although Tavarez passed away last November, nearly 15,000 people have registered as donors in her name.
"I found strength in knowing that through her, we were potentially saving many other lives by registering thousands of new donors. I also wanted to be able to provide support and resources to other patients and families suffering from blood related illnesses," added Brown. "I envision the Charity Gala and Auction to be a fun filled evening celebrating the life and legacy of Shannon as well as raising much needed funds to continue our work."
Shannon's S.H.A.R.E. Foundation was formed in honor of Tavarez to build awareness for the recruitment and education of potential bone marrow donors and to provide support to patients with blood-related illnesses and their families. Tavarez, who was diagnosed with Leukemia in April 2010 at age 11, made her Broadway debut as Young Nala in Disney's The Lion King. Shannon's S.H.A.R.E. Foundation is seeking corporate and product sponsors, auction items and supporters for the upcoming gala. Interested parties should contact Nahdi Mukomana at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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