BOSTON — A Massachusetts teenager who became a well-known face of the premature aging disease progeria has died, his family confirmed online.
Sam Berns of Foxborough, Mass., died on Friday at 17 years old, according to a statement posted on the website of the Progeria Research Foundation. Children with the rare disease live an average 13 years before succumbing to the genetic condition, which gives them the appearance of accelerated aging.
Berns was the subject of a 2013 HBO documentary film, “Life According to Sam.” The film drew the attention of Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots NFL football team, which plays in Berns’ hometown. The Patriots planned a moment of silence in the teenager’s honor before their playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday night, local media reported.