The Washington Post

Boston Bruins honor Sam Berns, teen who died of rare genetic disease

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft attended the funeral for Sam Berns. (Steven Senne / AP)

The Boston Bruins observed a moment of silence Tuesday for teenager Sam Berns, subject of the HBO documentary “Life According to Sam,” who died on Friday after a lifelong battle with progeria, a rare genetic disease that prematurely ages its victims.

Over the years, the 17-year old Berns, from Foxboro, Mass., spent time with the Bruins, including his hockey hero, captain Zdeno Chara.

“Getting to know Sam was a privilege,” said Chara, per the Bruins website. “It started as a slow friendship and then became stronger as we got to know each other more and more. You know, I loved Sam.”

The Bruins hosted Progeria Awareness Night back in November. Berns also spent time with the New England Patriots, and was set to be an honorary captain during the AFC divisional playoff game on Sunday. Patriots owner Robert Kraft attended the funeral and issued a public statement on Berns.

The Bruins wrote on their site, “Expressions of sympathy and support may be expressed using #prfsam on Twitter and The Progeria Foundation Facebook page and/or directed to The Progeria Research Foundation at P.O. Box 3453, Peabody, MA 01961-3453.”

Here is the video the Bruins played before the game against Toronto.


Ben Sumner works in The Post’s IT department and writes for Capitals Outsider.
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