Sam Sums Up Life

I once heard from a pastor that life is not measured by the quantity of years you spent in this planet rather by the quality of your existence.

Then I met Sam Berns, the public face of progeria, a genetic disorder of childhood that accelerates body aging process. Sam passed away last January 10 at the age of 17.

Though his time was limited, his influence became limitless. With the support of his parents Dr. Leslie Gordon and Dr. Scott Berns, both physicians, he advocate people awareness to progeria syndrome, an extremely rare disease showing an incidence of only 1 out of 4 to 8 million births. Patients with progeria live in an average of 13 years, most of them die from complications such as heart attack and strokes.

At age 13, he was featured in an HBO documentary Life According to Sam.

“I didn’t put myself in front of you to have you feel bad for me. You don’t need to feel bad for me. Because I want you to get to know me. This is my life.” --Sam Berns
"Everytime I see Sam, it's some sort of a moment, he gets off the bus, it's a moment I treasure it." --Leslie Gordon
"There's a lot going on around us that we easily miss." --Scott Berns

October, 2013 Sam spoke at TEDxMidAtlantic regarding his philosophies for a happy life: Be okay with what ultimately you can't do instead focus on things you can do; surround yourself with people you want to be with and finally keep moving forward.

“No matter what I choose to become, I believe that I can change the world, and as I’m striving to change the world, I will be happy.” --Sam Berns

Sam Berns indeed is the epitome of a well lived life. Short but genuinely remarkable. RIP


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