With the help of social media, Adrian Peterson reached out to cancer patient Blake Cognata Monday night. Peterson called Cognata after a Twitter campaign #APCallBlake.
The 17-year-old is battling a rare form of cancer, Ewing’s sarcoma. The disease is a bone tumor that affects children. Cognata was diagnosed on February 1 and was forced to stop playing lacrosse and football at Fairport (Fairport, New York) high school.
Cognata had one remaining chemotherapy session, but Doctors found that the Ewing’s sarcoma has unfortunately spread throughout the 17-year-old’s body. He began to feel pain in his shoulder in October, but Saturday night the pain became worse.
To provide support for Cognata, family and friends used hashtags #findyourstrong and #staystrongblake on Twitter.
To take it one step further, Dylan George, 2011 Fairport graduate, started the hashtag #APCallBlake.
“I was just hoping it would help Blake,” says George.
George remembered how a similar campaign started in December, that urged Tim Tebow, New York Jets quarterback, to call an accident victim in Albany.
Soon after George’s #APCallBlake campaign, Peterson called Cognata in his hospital bed.
Peterson has always been involved with helping people, supporting charities and foundations like the Starkey Hearing Foundation and THORN.
“It was on his heart and he just felt he had to do it,” says Chris Brown, Peterson’s assistant.
Peterson’s phone call couldn’t have come at a better time. Cognata’s turns 18 next Monday and the phone call may have given him a birthday gift that he deserves.
“He told Blake not to give up and asked how long he had been sick. Then he told Blake that he had his personal cell number and to call him anytime that he wanted to talk to someone,” says Diana Calcagno.