New England Patriots Dedicate Win To Sam Berns, Dead At 17

Sun, January 12, 2014 6:21pm EDT by 8 Comments
Sam Berns Dies
Courtesy of Twitter Jeff Zelevansky/Sports/Getty Images

Sam Berns, an inspiring teen who had the premature aging disorder, progeria, passed away on Jan. 10, just one day before he was to be named honorary captain of his favorite sports team, the New England Patriots. The team honored their superfan with a moment of silence at their Jan. 11 game, and dedicated their victory to him!

Sam Berns, 17, subject of the HBO documentary Life According To Sam, passed away from complications from progeria — a genetic disorder that causes rapid or premature aging and stunted growth — on Jan. 10. The Massachusetts teen was an “unofficial mascot” of his favorite NFL team, the New England Patriots, and the team honored Sam with a moment of silence and had a touching tribute to him after they learned of his passing.

Sam Berns Dies: New England Patriots Dedicate Win To Inspiring Teen With Progeria

Sam died of complications from progeria, but not before making a lasting impression on millions of people with his inspiring positive outlook and bravery.

His hometown favorite football team, the Patriots, tweeted:

— New England Patriots (@Patriots) January 12, 2014

Sam Berns Dies Of Progeria Complications

The team dedicated their Jan. 11 win against the Indianapolis Colts to Sam, and officials from the team spoke out to pay tribute to him.

“I loved Sam Berns and am richer for having known him,” Patriots owner Robert Kraft wrote in a statement after learning of Sam’s passing. “He was a special young man whose inspirational story and positive outlook on life touched my heart. I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to spend time with him and to get to know his incredible family.”

Sam Berns’ Family Speaks Out After Teen’s Death

Sam’s family confirmed he passed away “due to complications from Progeria. Sam, age 17, was diagnosed at 22 months of age with Progeria.”

Sam’s “parents, Drs. Leslie Gordon and Scott Berns, established The Progeria Research Foundation in 1999 to find the cause, treatment and cure,” read a statement from the foundation’s website. “Children with Progeria live an average of 13 years. In 2013, HBO Documentaries broadcast the story of Sam Berns in Life According to Sam, and his courage and spirit moved everyone who came to know him personally or was inspired by his story. … The entire PRF community mourns the loss of this remarkable young man who not only inspired PRF’s creation, but also touched millions of people worldwide.”

Our thoughts are with Sam’s family at this difficult time.

What do YOU think, HollywoodLifers? Do you think the New England Patriots are the coolest for dedicating their win to Sam?

— Kristine Hope Kowalski

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