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Child star Tavarez laid to rest

The 11 year old, who played the young Nala in hit musical The Lion King, failed to find a bone marrow donor in her long battle with acute myeloid leukaemia and passed away on 1 November (10).

Her family and friends turned out to attend a memorial service at the Greater Allen AME Cathedral in Queens on Monday (08Nov10), and they were moved to tears as a pre-recorded video message from Tavarez herself was played on a big screen.

In the footage, she said, “We are happy and sometimes sad. It always hurts to go. But we do start a new beginning, so I bid you goodbye.”

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Tavarez’s The Lion King co-star Marquis Rodriguez, who played the young Simba in the hit production, paid tribute to the brave actress at the ceremony, telling his fellow mourners: “I could honestly say I loved her like she was my sister. And I’m so sad. I wanted to protect her from anything, and this is the one thing that I couldn’t. I love you so much Shannon.”

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