Passages: Sam Berns

 Sam Berns, with his parents

Passages: Sam Berns

Sam Berns of Foxborough, Mass., died Jan. 10 at the age of 17 from complications from progeria, a rare disease characterized by the appearance of accelerated aging in children. His parents, Leslie Gordon, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics (research) and Scott Berns, M.D., clinical professor of pediatrics, confirmed Sam's passing in a statement on the website of the Progeria Research Foundation, which they founded in 1999 to battle the disease. Sam's story has inspired countless people through stories over many years, including the award-winning documentary, "Life According to Sam," which aired on HBO in October 2013. His life and his parents' work have also been covered at Brown including in the current cover story of Brown Alumni Magazine, a brief report on an important therapeutic breakthrough in 2012, and a 2011 story and video, quoting Dr. Gordon about an earlier advance.