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Sam Berns Remembered Locally and Beyond

Today, friends and family of Sam Berns will say goodbye to one of the most beloved members of the Foxboro community. 

Berns inspirational and positive outlook on life was never limited to the town of Foxboro or even Greater Boston as evident by the support and condolences for the 17-year-old online and across social media.

Stories of his passing have been produced by almost every major American news outlet including the New York Times, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News and the Associated Press.

Even in Montana, TV station KRTV ran the CBS News story on Berns’ passing on their website.

On Reddit, news of Berns’ passing was one of the most read stories in the Boston and New England Patriots subreddits.

Berns’ talk from TedxMidAtlantic was picked up by Upworthy and collected over 40,000 Facebook likes as of Monday night.

Locally, the Boston sports community has paused to remember Berns who was a fan of any team wearing Boston or New England on their uniform.

Before their game against the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday, the New England Patriots honored Berns with a moment of silence. He was scheduled to be the team's honorary captain.

“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,” Patriots owner Robert Kraft said in a statement on Saturday.

Prior to the start of the Bruins' game against the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night, NESN studio host Dale Arnold took a moment to pay tribute to Berns. Since Berns appeared on NESN during Progeria Night which took place during the Bruins' Nov. 9 home game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Arnold has worn a bracelet for progeria awareness.

"Sam loved the Bruins and the Bruins loved him. Sam had an attitude we could only hope for. He was a positive influence on everyone he met," Arnold said during the pre-game show.

On Monday morning, WEEI's Dennis and Callahan played a montage of audio clips from Life According to Sam, Berns' visit with the Patriots, and interviews. In October, Berns was interviewed by the morning hosts.

In the documentary Life According to Sam, Berns is seen meeting the Dave Matthews Band prior to a performance at the Xfinity Center, formerly known as the Comcast Center in Mansfield. Over the weekend, the band released a statement that read, “We are so sad to report that our good friend, Sam Berns, passed away on Friday, January 10, 2014. We thank Sam and his family for the profound impact he made upon our lives. His short and brave life will never be forgotten. Our hearts go out to Sam’s family during this sad time.”

Through their website, Life According to Sam filmmakers Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine expressed their sympathy for the young boy whose story they shared with the world.

“Sam was about excellence. He admired it, aspired to it. Pushed himself to be excellent, and he held others to the same. Sam did not suffer fools, and once he decided what he loved, he loved it hard: his Mom Leslie, his Dad Scott. His football, his hockey, his baseball, his music, his friends and family, who are now countless in number,” they said in the statement. “Sam Berns, you live a forever pulse in the universe. We are all better since filled with the ripple effect of knowing you and all the hearts you connected. You will be missed, loved and never forgotten.”

To see what some users of Twitter are saying about Sam Berns, scroll though the Storify widget located at the top of the story.

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