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article imageSam Berns passes from progeria, a rare and fatal aging disease

By Nancy Houser     Jan 12, 2014 in Health
Foxboro - Sam Berns died Friday of complications of progeria, a fatal and rare disease he was born with. What does this have to do with the Patriots' win over the Colts the very next day? He was to be the honorary captain of the Patriots on Saturday.
The Patriots triumphed over the Colts last Saturday night with a score of 43-22. Patriot running back, 27-year-old LeGarrette Blount, carried the win with total runs of 166 yards, including a run of 73 yards and four touchdowns.
The Patriots will play the Denver Broncos in the AFC championship game. With hope and a prayer, the Patriots will make it to the top with the spirit of Sam Berns running at their side.
Sam Berns, spiritual honoree captain of the Patriots
What few realize is that 17-year old Sam Berns was to have been standing in the Gillette Stadium when the Patriots played against the Colts, surrounded by a team who loved him. According to CNN, he was to be the team's honorary captain, chosen by Patriot owner Robert Kraft in a pregame ceremony.
"I loved Sam Berns and am richer for having known him," Patriots owner Robert Kraft said. "He was a special young man whose inspirational story and positive outlook on life touched my heart."
Sam Berns, team player of the Patriots
Of the 70,000 fans at the game, those who knew Sam Berns would have cheered their 'Sammy as one of the Patriots' team players -- a special person who inspired not only those who knew him, but everyone Sam came into contact with in the most minute way. They instantly became a different person, looking less at themselves and more of the world around them in a more positive manner. This writer was one of them.
Sam Berns meeting the Patriot players
Sam Berns meeting the Patriot players
Screenshot of article video
Sam Berns and his parents  who started the Progeria Foundation after Sam was born.
Sam Berns and his parents, who started the Progeria Foundation after Sam was born.
Fine Films
Sam Berns, God's special angel for progeria
Sam Berns was God's number one angel with a mission — seen in "Life According to Sam," a 2013 HBO documentary about his physician parents' search for a progeria cure through their Progeria Research Foundation. Through this foundation, hundreds of children with progeria are still alive through the development of new medicines and studies on the disease.
Progeria affects close to one in 8 million children with stunted growth, rapidly advanced or premature aging, and the deterioration of their organs early in life. Most children do not live beyond 13 -- Sam lived until he was 17.
Progeria children and how they affect people
Once you meet one of these children, whether in real life or television or a video, your life is never the same. Progeria children are generally pretty upbeat and seldom unhappy, always positive, always considerate, and … they have the wisdom of the ancients. The only time they are sad is when they are ridiculed or on the receiving end of hate mail or attacks.
The CNN article quotes this statement from Sam Berns,
"All in all, I don't waste energy feeling bad for myself," Berns said. "I surround myself with people that I want to be with. And I keep moving forward."
Final thought
The family requests privacy at this time. Expressions of sympathy and support may be expressed using #prfsam on Twitter and The Progeria Foundation Facebook page and/or directed to The Progeria Research Foundation at P.O. Box 3453, Peabody, MA 01961-3453.
More on Sam Berns through Pinterest.
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