Sam Berns’ wildly popular TEDx Talk, My Philosophy for a Happy Life, and award-winning HBO documentary, Life According to Sam, are used throughout this curriculum as examples of how we all have the ability to learn and do anything. Sam, who had the rapid-aging condition Progeria, was a high school student who used a positive mindset to lead a fulfilling and inspiring life. He shows us that we can all create positive changes within ourselves as well as in our communities.
One half of all proceeds generated through the sale of our curriculum is donated directly to The Progeria Research Foundation to assist in the effort to discover the cure for Progeria.
About the Foundation
The Mission: To discover treatments and the cure for Progeria and its aging-related disorders, including heart disease.
Progeria is a rare, fatal, “rapid aging” condition. Without the discovery of new treatments, all children with Progeria will die of heart disease at an average age of 14 years. The Progeria Research Foundation (PRF) was founded in 1999 in response to the complete lack of progress being made to help children with Progeria. Today, PRF continues to be the only organization in the world solely dedicated to this mission. We have filled a void, taking these children out of the background where they had been for over 100 years and putting them and Progeria at the forefront of scientific efforts.
In just a relatively short time, we have achieved extraordinary progress towards our mission: the Progeria gene discovery in 2003, first-ever clinical drug trials initiated in 2007, and the 2012 results of that first trial being the discovery of the first treatment for Progeria. In addition, we have achieved extensive global awareness of the disease and PRF's work, and confirmation of critical biological links between Progeria, heart disease and the aging we all experience. From an obscure, ignored disease to treatment and global recognition – an unheard of timeline in the world of medical research! Our accomplishments are being praised as a “scientific sprint” as we forge ahead in this race against time.
With the support of dedicated staff and volunteers, a talented board of directors, courageous families, and thousands of generous people around the world, we are pushing the field of Progeria forward towards discovery, treatments, and cure. And along the way, we are learning a tremendous amount about ourselves: Because of the biological connection between Progeria, heart disease and the aging process, finding treatments and the cure for one of the rarest conditions on earth may help millions with heart disease, and the entire aging population.