Blake Cognata, a 17-year-old cancer patient who received a surprise inspirational phone call from Minnesota Viking superstar running back Adrian Peterson, lost his battle with a rare form of bone cancer called Ewing's sarcoma on Saturday morning, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reported. He would have celebrated his 18th birthday on Monday.
Last week, friends launched a Twitter campaign that led Cognata's favorite NFL player to call him and share words of encouragement. Less than two hours after the first hashtag #APCallBlake was posted, Peterson was on the phone to rally the young man from his Rochester, N.Y., hospital bed.
Peterson expressed his condolences via Twitter on Saturday night: