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Wayne Post
  • NFL's Adrian Peterson calls ill Fairport teen after Twitter campaign

  • Thanks to a little help from Twitter, Blake Cognata got a special phone call in his hospital room on Monday night.



    The Fairport teen looked down and saw an unfamiliar phone number. He answered and heard the voice of Adrian Peterson, runningback for his favorite NFL team, the Minnesota Vikings, on the other end.

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  • Thanks to a little help from Twitter, Blake Cognata got a special phone call in his hospital room on Monday night.
    The Fairport teen looked down and saw an unfamiliar phone number. He answered and heard the voice of Adrian Peterson, runningback for his favorite NFL team, the Minnesota Vikings, on the other end.
    “Hello, this is Blake,” he said softly. “May I ask who’s calling?”
    Moments later, his mother, Diane Calcagno, said his face lit up, as he exclaimed, "Really?"
    The pair talked for more than five minutes, during which Peterson encouraged Cognata to stay strong.
    “(Peterson) is very spiritual. He spoke about his faith and told Blake not to give up. There was a long time when (Blake) was just silent.”
    The NFL player told him to call or text any time, and to send him his address so he could send the teen something in the mail.
    Cognata, 17, was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma, a rare form of cancer, last February.
    Since then, friends and supporters in the Fairport community have offered many well wishes and prayers over Facebook and Twitter.
    But friend Dylan George, 20, decided to take it a step further by reaching out to the football star on Twitter.
    He knew Cognata was a die-hard fan and hoped that enough Tweets using the hashtag #APCallBlake might get the attention of the football star.
    So, George sent the first tweet asking others to help.
    “Within two minutes my phone just blew up with retweets,” he said.
    In less than two hours, Peterson responded to the many requests by calling the teen from his personal cell phone.
    George said he’s excited to have been a part of the excitement, especially as Cognata endures the pain of his disease.
    “He’s going through absolute hell and I just hope it would give him a little boost,” said George. “I think knowing it may have helped is something. Every little bit counts.”
    Cognata’s mother says the phone call lifted his spirits like nothing else.
    “He was awestruck,” she said. “We couldn’t get him to sleep until 1 a.m. He just kept saying, ‘I can’t believe it.’”
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