Sampson Gordon Berns
October 23, 1996
Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.
|Died||January 10, 2014 (aged 17)|
|Cause of death||Complications from Progeria|
|Education||Foxborough High School|
|Known for||HBO documentary on progeria, spreading progeria awareness|
Sampson Gordon Berns (October 23, 1996 – January 10, 2014) was an American activist with progeria, an extremely rare and fatal disease that causes the body to age rapidly. Berns helped raise awareness about the disease and he was the subject of the HBO documentary Life According to Sam, which was first screened in January 2013.
Progeria Research Foundation
His parents, Scott Berns and Leslie Gordon, both pediatricians, received their son's diagnosis when he was less than two years old. Roughly a year later, they established the Progeria Research Foundation in an effort to increase awareness of the condition, to promote research into the underlying causes of and possible treatments for the disease. Moreover, they offer resources for the support of those with progeria and their families.
On November 9, 2013, at a home game for the Boston Bruins, Berns helped host Progeria Awareness Night, sat with the team as an assistant equipment manager, and dropped the ceremonial first puck for that night's game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Berns and Zdeno Chára, the Bruins captain, had been strong friends since 2006, when Berns attended a Bruins game and met Chára afterwards. Chára had scored in that game and Berns blurted out "You're the hero!". Chára responded: "No, no, you're my hero, our hero."
On January 14, 2014, the Bruins honored Berns with a moment of silence and a video tribute before the start of the game.
New England Patriots
Berns was to be an honorary captain when the New England Patriots hosted the Indianapolis Colts in a divisional playoff game on January 11, 2014; however, he died on January 10, the evening before the game.
TED Talk, Sam Berns
Life According to Sam
Life According to Sam is a 2013 documentary film based on the life of Berns and has been shown at film festivals, including Sundance, and it was broadcast on HBO in October. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said it is among 15 documentaries considered for Oscar nominations.
- Hayley Okines — English girl who had progeria and was the subject of television specials both in Europe and in the United States.
- Lizzie Velásquez — American motivational speaker with a similar but non-terminal medical condition (Marfanoid–progeroid–lipodystrophy syndrome).
- Fox, Margalit (January 13, 2014). "Sam Berns, 17, Public Face of a Rare Illness, Is Dead". The New York Times. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
- "The Short, Remarkable Life of Sam Berns Turned Spotlight on Progeria". news.nationalgeographic.com. Archived from the original on January 15, 2014. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
- "Progeria Research Foundation – Our Story". Progeria Research Foundation. Progeria Research Foundation. Retrieved January 15, 2014.
- "Progeria Research Foundation – Quick Facts". Progeria Research Foundation. Progeria Research Foundation. Retrieved January 15, 2014.
- Berman, Michele R. (October 16, 2013). "Life According To Sam Berns". MedPage Today. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
- Titunik, Vera (October 2, 2012). "Revisiting Sam Berns". The New York Times Magazine. Archived from the original on December 29, 2014. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
- "Sam Berns, public face of progeria, to be honored by Bruins". Sporting News. January 14, 2014. Retrieved November 25, 2014.
- "Remembering Sam- Boston Bruins". January 14, 2014. Retrieved November 25, 2014.
- "Remembering Sam". nhl.com.
- Steve Buckley (January 12, 2014). "Robert Kraft: I fell in love with Sam Berns". bostonherald.com.
- "Sam G. Berns's Obituary on New York Times". New York Times. Retrieved June 29, 2017.
- "Statement from Robert Kraft on the passing of Sam Berns". New England Patriots. Archived from the original on January 12, 2014.
- Sumner, Ben. "Patriots, Bruins pay tribute to Foxboro teen who died of rare disease". Washington Post.
- "Kraft on Berns: I am Richer for Having Known Him". Foxborough, MA Patch. January 11, 2014.
- "TEDxMidAtlantic". tedxmidatlantic.com. Retrieved June 29, 2017.
- TEDx Talks (December 13, 2013). "My philosophy for a happy life – Sam Berns – TEDxMidAtlantic". Retrieved June 29, 2017 – via YouTube.
- Fox, Margalit (January 13, 2014). "Sam Berns, 17, Public Face of a Rare Illness, Is Dead". The New York Times. Retrieved June 29, 2017.
- Henig, Robin Marantz (January 13, 2014). "The Short, Exuberant Life of Sam Berns". The 6th Floor Blog. Retrieved June 29, 2017.
- "Life According to Sam". Retrieved June 29, 2017.
- "Life According to Sam (2013)". IMDb. Retrieved June 29, 2017.
- Robin Marantz Henig (January 30, 2005). "Racing With Sam". The New York Times. Retrieved June 30, 2017.
- Progeria Research Foundation
- HBO: Documentaries | Life According to Sam | Home
- CNN – "Beloved teen Sam Berns dies at 17 after suffering from rare disease"
- My Philosophy for a Happy Life: Sam Berns gives a lecture at TEDxMidAtlantic 2013
- Sam Berns, 'remarkable' teen who battled rare rapid aging disease, progeria, dies at age 17