Getty ImagesSam Berns was a Boston Bruins fan, and someone who made an unforgettable impression on the team.
Berns was the face of progeria, the genetic disorder that results in rapid, premature aging in children. It’s very rare – some research puts it at one in eight million births – but Berns did all he could to bring attention to the disease, including as the star of an HBO documentary called “Life According to Sam,” which is up for Oscar consideration.
On Nov. 9, Berns was the honored guest of the Bruins on “Progeria Awareness Night” at TD Garden. He dropped the first puck and was an assistant equipment manager for the game, meeting his hockey heroes – including Zdeno Chara, who towered over the diminutive fan.
“Getting to know Sam was a privilege," said Zee. "It started as a slow friendship and then became stronger as we got to know each other more and more. You know, I loved Sam.”
“It was big motivation for me, and obviously an inspiration to so many people to see him going through different stages of adversity, and the way he dealt with them, and how positive he was. He was just a huge inspiration and it was really fun to see him being such an icon, and representing Progeria. He helped so much to raise awareness."