A few New Yorkers demonstrated the amazing power of Twitter this week, when their creativity and determination led to a call from Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson to their cancer-stricken friend.
Blake Cognata, a 17-year-old from Fairport, New York, has been fighting Ewing's sarcoma since February. The cancer attacks Cognata's bones, and according to his mother, it has reached "just about every bone he has."
After Cognata was taken to the hospital over the weekend, a former Fairport High student named Dylan George wanted to do something to lift Cognata's spirits. George remembered how a Twitter campaign with the hashtag #TebowCallMatt led to a phone call from New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow to a teen who had recently been in an auto accident.
Knowing that Peterson is Cognata's hero, George created a hashtag to try and get Peterson's attention: #APcallblake. George along with another Fairport High graduate, Zack Mentz, got the campaign started on Twitter. It slowly gained momentum, and before long some professional athletes even took notice:
— Shane Prince (@Sprince18) January 8, 2013
Within 90 minutes, Cognata got a call from Peterson. The star running back spoke with Cognata for about five minutes, asking him about his condition telling him not to give up.
— Zach Mentz (@ZachMentz) January 8, 2013
"It was just the most amazing thing," Cognata's mom, Diane Calcagno, told the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. "He's been glowing all night."
Peterson's uncle and assistant, Chris Brown, confirmed to the Democrat and Chronicle that Peterson did indeed make the call.
"It was on his heart and he just felt he had to do it," Brown said. "If a conversation can bring a little bit of joy, it's the least Adrian can do."