Sam Berns, the 17-year-old boy who became the face of progeria has died. Also called "the aging disease," it is a rare genetic condition that causes you to age rapidly. He was diagnoses at just 22 months old and his parents, both doctors, were intent on finding a cause and a cure for the disease and started the Progeria Research Foundation. While they didn't have their breakthrough during his lifetime, Sam himself was able to accomplish more than anyone thought possible.
He certainly defied the odds. Most kids with Progeria only live until age 13 and are prone to developing osteoporoiiss. Sam eventually succumbed to complications of the disease, which affects fewer than 250 worldwide. However, he was always open about life with the illness.
But despite a diagnosis that required daily medications to slow down the aging process and physical limitations, he was every bit a regular kid. The subject of last year's documentary called, "Life According to Sam," he did more to educate the world on Progeria than any one else.
"Even though I have many obstacles in my life, I don't want people to feel bad for me," he once said. Another particularly inspirational quote: "All in all, I don't waste energy feeling bad for myself. I surround myself with people that I want to be with. And I keep moving forward."
It was that positive attitude that won him fans among everyone he met, including athletes and celebrities. He will most certainly be missed.
Were you inspired by Sam Berns?