Sam Berns, 1996-2014

Sam Berns has died:

Sam Berns, a spunky teenager who was proud to call himself a “band geek” and was at the heart of a 2013 documentary about a genetic condition that accelerates aging, has died. He was 17.

Berns, a Massachusetts high school junior who was bald, bespectacled, and weighed only 50 pounds, died Friday from complications of progeria, the Progeria Research Foundation announced.

An avid fan of Boston sports teams, Berns was also passionate about playing the snare drum and marching in full uniform with Foxborough High School’s marching band.

“The music we make together is true, it’s genuine, and it supercedes progeria,” he told an audience at a TED Talk about his condition last October. “I don’t have to worry about that when I’m feeling so good about making music.”

A remarkable individual. And a reminder that the attitude with which you confront life can be more important than its length.

2 comments… add one
  • Jimbino Link

    It seems everybody today is misspelling “supersede” as “supercede,” including Steven Landsburg over at TheBigQuestions.

  • jan Link

    Music is often a mood-lifter for people — perhaps effecting brain chemistry in elevating endorphins. I’m glad this kid was able to find some kind of grove outside of his physical disabilities.

    As for the attitudes of young people who are chronically or terminally ill — it creates overwhelming humility in adults, to be around them. What wisdom they seem to have cultivated in their short-lived lives, as well as acceptance of their circumstances. It puts politics into such a trivial category…..

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