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Funeral held for US teen who had aging disorder

January 14, 2014

SHARON, Massachusetts (AP) — Hundreds of people have attended the funeral of a Massachusetts teenager whose battle with a rare genetic condition that accelerates the aging process inspired professional athletes and spurred medical research.

Services for 17-year-old Sam Berns were held Tuesday at Temple Israel in Sharon.

Among those in attendance was New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft. A private reception was held later at Gillette Stadium.

Berns died Friday of complications from Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome, commonly known as progeria. He was diagnosed with progeria when he was 22 months old.

He 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.

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