Sam Berns, Teen With Rapid Aging Disease, Dies At 17
Berns suffered from progeria, a disease that causes accelerated, premature aging. He had plenty of fans who loved him for his positive outlook.
Sam Berns, a beloved teen with a rare aging disease, has died at the age of 17.
Berns suffered from progeria, a disease that causes accelerated, premature aging. He had plenty of fans who loved him for his positive outlook. (Via ABC, HBO)
In fact, he gave a TED talk in late 2013 on just that topic.
BERNS: "I don't want people to feel bad for me. ... No matter what I choose to become, I believe that I can change the world."
BERNS: "There are times when I'm feeling exhausted or tired out, just kind of take that kind of positive hopefully forward-thinking approach." (Via "Katie")
Despite doctors' predictions he would only live to be 13 years old, Berns was an honor student well into his mid-teens and played snare drum in the marching band at his high school.
His positive outlook on life has inspired many, including New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who introduced Sam to the team. (Via ESPN)
Berns was set to serve as honorary captain at the New England Patriots playoff game Saturday night. Instead, the team held a moment of silence for him. (Via Twitter / @Patriots)
According to the Progeria Research Foundation, some 200 children worldwide live with progeria. It causes them to lose body fat and hair as they quickly age.
On Twitter, Berns' many fans called him brave, moving and inspirational.
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