SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

January 15, 2014

Funeral held for teen who had aging disorder

SHARON (AP) — Hundreds of people, including New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, attended the funeral yesterday of a Massachusetts teenager whose battle with a rare genetic condition that accelerates the aging process inspired professional athletes and spurred medical research.

Sam Berns’ high school classmates also were bused to the services at a synagogue in Sharon. A private reception was held later at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Berns’ hometown.

Berns, 17, died Friday of complications from Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome, commonly known as progeria. He was diagnosed with progeria when he was 22 months old. His physician parents founded the nonprofit Progeria Research Foundation after his diagnosis.

Berns became the subject of an HBO documentary, “Life According to Sam.” The exposure has brought greater recognition to the condition, which causes musculoskeletal degeneration, cardiovascular problems and other symptoms associated with aging.

Kraft met the young sports fan and attended the HBO premiere of the documentary in New York in October. Kraft made a $500,000 matching pledge to the foundation.

Berns was invited to a Patriots practice that month, and gave the players an impromptu motivational speech.

Kraft said after Berns’ death that he had invited the teen to be the Patriot’s honorary captain for Saturday night’s playoff game in which they defeated the Indianapolis Colts.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News

AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
Comments Tracker