Sam Berns, Remarkable 17-Year-Old with Rare Aging Disease, Dies

Sam Berns, a charismatic and inspirational Massachusetts boy with progeria, a rare genetic condition that accelerates the aging process, died Friday after complications from the condition, the Progeria Research Foundation announced.

“To me, he was a star,” Sheila Nevins, president of HBO Documentary Films, told PEOPLE on Sunday morning, calling news of Sam’s death “devastating.”