Twitter rallies to send wheelchair-bound teen to BCS Championship


Blake Dudley’s handwritten letter to Notre Dame football head coach Brian Kelly is making the rounds online. 

Remember Rudy? A similarly inspiring football story is playing out right now Twitter.

Blake Dudley, 14, is a diehard University of Notre Dame football fan who really wants to see the Fighting Irish play against defending national champion Alabama in the BCS Championship Game Jan. 7 in Miami, MLive reported.

Initially, the young fan from Dowagiac, Mich., wanted to sell valuable items around the house to buy a ticket, but he ultimately wrote a letter professing his love for Notre Dame football head coach Brian Kelly and and asked if there was a way for him and his family to get tickets to the big game.

“I came home from work last Wednesday—I’m a bartender at the Hartford casino—and he had sat down with his pencil and paper (to write the letter),” Celeste Dudley, Blake’s mom, told

Blake has been bound to a wheelchair for three years due to Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a genetic disorder that is characterized by muscle weakness, but he explained in the letter that he has not let the disease prevent him from being active at his school.

Since Celeste wasn’t sure how to reach Kelly, she posted it to talk show host Ellen DeGeneres’s Facebook page in hopes that DeGeneres or someone would see the letter. People took notice, and thanks to a friend, the letter soon made its way to Twitter.

Local high schools and colleges started using the hashtag #GetBlakeToSouthBeach to pass on the letter detailing Blake’s dreams, which has been tweeted 1,342 times in the past two days, according to Topsy, a social media analysis site.

Celeste didn’t have a huge understanding of Twitter before Blake’s letter went viral, but she’s been touched by the outpour of support and appreciates people spreading Blake’s message.

“It’s so nice to see something positive spreading like that about somebody locally, instead of kids fighting with each other (online).”

Celeste plans on setting up an account where people can donate to get Blake to see Notre Dame play in January.

Photos via @celestedd/Twitter

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