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Sam Berns, a 17 year old boy, died Friday night, exactly one day before he was set to be the honorary co-captain at the New England Patriots game Saturday.
The young boy was the subject of the HBO documentary Life According to Sam. He was scheduled to be the captain of the New England Patriots, his home team, Saturday night in their playoff game.
Berns died due to complications of a disease that he was diagnosed with as a baby. The teenager had Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome, which causes premature aging, according to the New York Daily News. Most people with the disease only live about 13 years.
Berns’ parents founded the Progeria Research Foundation in 1999 in hopes to find a cure, according to Fox News.
The Patriots held a moment of silence in honor of Berns before the game Saturday and the game was dedicated to the teen a few hours before kick off.
“I loved Sam Berns and am richer for having known him,” Patriots owner Robert Kraft wrote in a statement following Berns’ death on Friday night.