Blake Cognata is a high school senior battling a rare form of cancer called Ewing's sarcoma. It attacks the bones, it's painful, and it's caused Cognata to stop playing football and lacrosse at his school, Fairport High. Despite the pain, though, Blake had a helluva Monday night—thanks to some really good friends (and Adrian Peterson).
On Saturday, Blake entered Strong Memorial Hospital. His family and friends tried to buoy his spirits by tweeting things like #staystrongblake and #findyourstrong, but Dylan George, a 2011 Fairport High, "took things one step further," according to the Democrat and Chronicle. He started a movement on Twitter to convince Cognata's hero, Adrian Peterson, to give a call to the hospital.
He remembered that just back in December, a similar urging via Twitter -- #TebowCallMatt -- prompted New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow to phone a car accident victim in Albany.
"I was just hoping it would help Blake," said George, who said he knows Cognata through mutual friends.
George was quickly joined by Zach Mentz, a fellow Fairport grad, and they utilized their social connections to spread the topic on Twitter. Pretty soon an Ottawa Senator, Shane Prince, was tweeting about it, and it spread like wildfire online.
Short story short: It worked. Peterson called last night, and the photo of the conversation is above and in Mentz' Tweet. From the Democrat and Chronicle again:
Within 90 minutes of the start of the #APCallBlake hashtag, around 8 p.m., the National Football League's best running back was phoning Blake in his hospital bed.
"It was on his heart and he just felt he had to do it," Chris Brown, Peterson's assistant, said by phone from Texas. "If a conversation can bring a little bit of joy, it's the least Adrian can do."
Well done all around. After that whole #cuttingforjustin phenomenon yesterday, you showed that Twitter can occasionally be used for good. Maybe we shouldn't blow up the service after all.