Documentary: Life According to Sam

Documentary: <i>Life According to Sam</i>
“Life According to Sam”

Michael and I just finished watching this very touching, moving and thought-provoking documentary currently on HBO – Life According to Sam.

At the age of 2, Sam is diagnosed with progeria, a rare and fatal aging disease. The film documents the years in which he takes part in the first ever trial for a possible treatment, led by his mother.

Beyond the medical story, what is most emotionally compelling about the film is watching Sam do so much more than cope with this disease.  He achieves.  At his middle school graduation he wins honor after honor.  His dream of being in the high school drum corp becomes just one more challenge for him to conquer.

Sam shares his hopes and vision for his future throughout, as his mother works diligently to find a first ever treatment for progeria.

From Fine Films‘ description:

Life According to Sam follows one family’s courageous fight to save their only son from a rare and fatal ageing disease.

Eleven years of the parents breakneck research, (they both are doctors), has led to the first experimental drug trial for Sam and 28 other children from around the world, just as Sam has reached 13, the average age of death for children with progeria.

This highly personal and unexpectedly life affirming journey is championed by the captivating presence of Sam Berns himself.

Funny, perceptive and fiercely intelligent, Sam is the catalyst for his parents relentless drive to discover a medical breakthrough that may one day shed light on unlocking the aging process in us all. 

We all know there are more difficult lives than our own.  Somewhere.  Everywhere.

Watching the documentary, I marvel at Sam’s achievement after achievement – and then wonder “what did I do today?”  I think about the small slights or excuses so many of us hang onto, when we could have something REALLY big to cope with, like progeria or cancer, as many do.

The film is beautiful, thoughtful and honest in a very human way.  

Learn more about Sam and this powerful documentary at the official website here. 

And learn more about progeria and how you can perhaps get involved by visiting the Progeria Research Foundation.