Science and a Mother’s Love Offer Hope to Fatally Ill Child

Sam Berns was supposed to be dead by age 13 because he was born with the disease progeria, which causes rapid aging. No drugs have been developed to halt or cure progeria being only 250 children in the entire world have it.

But Sam’s mother, Leslie Gordon, is a doctor – and mothers don’t accept fatal diagnoses for their children without putting up a fight.

Leslie got together a group of scientists to research progeria, and wound up finding the genetic mutation that causes it. As a result, a drug was developed and put into trials. So far, it’s been successful at slowing the disease’s progression. It’s not a cure, but it is a step forward. And it allowed Sam Berns to reach his 17th birthday yesterday, Oct. 23.

HBO recently aired a documentary about Sam, but here’s a three minute segment from ABC News that offers a quick summation of his powerful story.

About Tony Rossi

After graduating from St. John's University in New York with degrees in Communications and English, Tony Rossi found a job at the Catholic media organization, The Christophers, that allowed him to indulge his interest in religion, media, and pop culture. He served as The Christophers' TV producer for 11 years, and is currently the host and producer of the organization's radio show/podcast Christopher Closeup, writer and editor of their syndicated Light One Candle column, and producer/scriptwriter of the annual Christopher Awards ceremony.


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