Rosedell students line up to ‘fight like a unicorn’

Addison Rivera, 8, center, wears a mask and sunglasses as she and her family receive a check for $3000 raised by Rosedell Elementary School in Saugus on Friday. Dan Watson/The Signal

It was supposed to be Rosedell Elementary School’s monthly “School Spirit Rally,” but it was more like an Addison Rally.

Despite it being cold, people were quickly warmed up when they started jumping around, singing songs and especially when they saw fellow student Addison Rivera.

Since October, Addison has been fighting BCell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

But she said she’s found strength in unicorns. “They have magical powers,” she said.

And on Friday morning, Addison saw her Rosedell Elementary schoolmates show up at the rally to support her.

Everyone cheered as she came out, spoke on a microphone to the kids gathered and beamed at the display of kinship and caring.

Rosedell nurse Laura Pearson helped get T-shirt orders for Addison’s family.


A few months ago, Cassandra’s college friend made a design of a “dabbing” unicorn, posing in an action of putting its arms above its head while facing down. This popular gesture was meant to convey a silly moment for these healing creatures, and the shirts were a hit.

They were so popular Addison received a $3,000 check that was raised from the sale of the shirts. They’ll help with expenses from her mom, Cassandra, who’s missed work to help care for Addison’s chemotherapy, said her grandmother Melanie Cross.

“Addison loves people more than anything, she has a very giving heart, she’s theatrical and loves to be on stage,” Cross said. “So it’s hard for her to be at home. Other children are children’s sunlight. That’s how they live.”

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About the author

Crystal Duan

Crystal Duan

Crystal Duan is the Signal's political reporter, covering City Council, the county and other happenings around the city. She graduated from the University of Missouri's journalism school and has worked at the Indianapolis Star and Minneapolis Star Tribune. She has been with the Signal since March 2018.