Posted at: 01/08/2013 1:35 PM
Updated at: 01/08/2013 6:12 PM
By: Robin De Wind
The power of social media and Twitter can change lives and bring communities together.
Fairport senior Blake Cognata is in a hospital bed at Golisano Children's Hospital fighting for his life with a rare form of cancer, Ewings Sarcoma. The cancer has attacked his bones.
Blake played football and lacrosse for Fairport, sitting on the sidelines since last spring while he battled his disease.
His illness has taken a turn. Feeling helpless and not knowing what to do, his friends found the perfect medicine in a simple gesture.
Dylan George, started Twitter campaign, said, “I'm happy I could do something small to make him feel better. Just taking a small step with support you can have such a big impact on the Fairport community is huge.”
Dylan George is a 2011 Fairport graduate. He is friends with Dillion Lucas and Blaze Riorden, former teammates of Blake's. Dylan, a regular on Twitter sent out a tweet Monday at 7 p.m using the hashag, #APCallBlake. And the campaign had begun.
George said, “Within 20 minutes, it had 25 retweets.”
AP is Adrian Peterson of Minnesota Vikings who is Blake's football hero.
Dillion Lucas, Blake's Friend, said, “Anyone who knew Blake knows, he's a hard core Vikings fan.”
Dillion began to text the star runningback every few seconds and apparently so did the entire Fairport community. The retweets spread across towns and even states.
Lucas said, “I was tweeting, 'Blake's a hero he could be your hero.' I wouldn't stop tweeting. I know how hard he is fighting. I can fight as hard to get Adrian's attention.”
Peterson, not known to tweet, was told through his assistant about the grass roots campaign. One hour after the original tweet went out, Peterson called Blake in his hospital room and spent a few minutes talking to him. Blake, who had been in and out of sedition, experienced joy. The power of Twitter had given this young man a true gift.
Lucas said, “ I'm at a loss for words. I know he was so happy Adrian got a hold of him. A bunch of kids in a small town that can get hold of a celebrity, it's amazing, how connected everyone can be.”
Blake's family released a statement saying, ““As wonderful as all the attention is and the
call from Adrian made Blake’s day, at this time, we want to focus every moment on enjoying Blake.”
Fairport plays Pittsford in hockey at Thomas Creek Tuesday night. Both teams are asking fans to wear yellow in support of Blake.
Fairport plays Rush-Henrietta Wednesday night and the students will be wearing yellow again, showing how this young man's story has united different school districts.
To learn more about Ewings Sarcoma, click here.