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Sam Berns dies: 17-year-old with progeria was depicted in HBO documentary

Sam Berns became a star after his life's story was seen on HBO. The documentary called "Life According to Sam" depicted the life of the courageous 17-year-old who struggled with progeria, a genetic affliction that hastens the aging process.

Sam Berns dies at 17
Sam Berns dies at 17
Photo by Thos Robinson/Getty Images for HBO

According to CNN on Jan. 12, Sam Berns' family struggled to save their son from the fatal disease which usually claims its victims at the age of 13. No treatment exists and there is no cure.

However, Dr. Leslie Gordon and Dr. Scott Berns set out to change this dreary picture. After their son Sam's diagnosis when he was two, the couple created clinical trials for progeria. Their research led to advances in this area of medicine but these advances could not save Sam.

During the screening of the documentary by HBO, Sam Berns was present, watching from another room. He was by himself as he witnessed his story unfold, but when the showing was over he went into the main room. He carried a napkin on which he had written, "Awesome."

Now Sam is gone. He was a fantastic person who loved the New England Patriots. The patriots loved Sam in return, holding a moment of silence in memory of this young man on Saturday night when the team played at Gillette Stadium.

And so, as Sam Berns dies much too early, the 17-year-old who suffered with progeria starred in an HBO documentary that will keep his name alive forever.