SHARON, Mass. (AP) - Hundreds of people, including New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, attended the funeral Tuesday of a Massachusetts teenager whose battle with a rare genetic condition that accelerates the aging process inspired professional athletes and spurred medical research.
Berns, 17, died Friday of complications from Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome, commonly known as progeria. He was diagnosed with progeria when he was 22 months old. His physician parents founded the nonprofit Progeria Research Foundation after his diagnosis.
Berns became the subject of an HBO documentary, “Life According to Sam.” The exposure has brought greater recognition to the condition, which causes musculoskeletal degeneration, cardiovascular problems and other symptoms associated with aging.