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Foxboro's Sam Berns dies at 17


FOXBORO, Mass. ( – Sam Berns, a fan who inspired the Patriots and a Foxboro High School junior, passed away Friday night due to complications from Progeria.

The 17-year-old was a huge Boston sports fan and according to a recent release from Foxboro Public Schools, "had a tremendous impact on our community and indeed the world."

The Foxboro High School library was open Saturday from 2 to 5 p.m. and on Sunday from noon to 2 p.m. for any student, staff member or parent in need of support or who wanted to share memories of Berns.

Berns was also the star of a documentary released last year on HBO called "Life According to Sam."

New England Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft released the following statement Saturday:

I loved Sam Berns and am richer for having known him. He was a special young man whose inspirational story and positive outlook on life touched my heart. I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to spend time with him and to get to know his incredible family. Together, they positively impacted the lives of people around the world in their quest to find a cure for Progeria. The HBO documentary, 'Life According to Sam' shared his incredible story with a national audience. It was so beautifully done. It made you laugh. It also made you cry. Today, it's the latter for all who knew Sam or learned of his story through that documentary. Earlier this week, I had extended an invitation for Sam to be the Patriots' honorary captain for tonight's playoff game. I was looking forward to spending more time with Sam and his family. News of his passing came as a complete surprise. It is another reminder that we can't take anything for granted. Be sure to give your loved ones hugs and kisses and tell them how much you love them. My heart aches for his parents, Scott and Leslie, his aunt Audrey and the rest of Sam's extended family. Words cannot express the sadness or the depth of sympathy I feel for them today.

Arrangements have not been made yet for Berns' services.