We are deeply saddened to learn that TEDxMidAtlantic speaker Sam Berns passed away Friday night at age 17. Sam had progeria, a rare rapid aging disease that affects approximately one out of four to eight million children.
Above, moments from Sam’s TEDxMidAtlantic talk, in which he shares his advice for living happily, no matter the challenges. Sam’s talk displays his great courage, infectious positivity, and wisdom beyond his years. He will be missed.
"I’ve heard so much about you!"
Repeat after me: I am a goddess. My spirit is towering, my soul is mighty, my breasts are magnificent and my shoes are super fucking cute.
"When he was dying, I said: ‘Moe, how am I going to live without you?’ He answered: ‘Take the love you have for me, and spread it around."
Classic Disney by Joey Chou.
If you hurry, you can get BOTH of Chou’s recently released books, Frozen: Anna’s Act of Love and Frozen: Elsa’s Icy Magic, for just $3 on Amazon!
How long were the writers waiting to use that line?
Long enough to shatter all of our hearts at once.
“Hey man, take my picture!”
“I can’t do it. It’s too dark.”
“Yeah, we need some light. Let’s go over there.”
“Are you homeless?”
“Yes, I am.”
“How long have you been homeless?”
“15 years. I’ve been in Boston 8 months. Before that I was in Washington, Virginia, New York, Philadelphia, Louisiana, Florida…”
“Why didn’t you stay in Florida? It’s so much warmer.”
“I wanted to see my family. But they don’t want to see me. They don’t understand depression. They treat me like dirt. Homeless people treat me better than my family.”
“And what happened 15 years ago? How did you end up on the streets?”
“I tried to burn myself twice. I had 30 surgeries. I was dead two times, but God brought me back. I don’t know why.”
“And why did you do it?”
“I was depressed. Why you crying?”
“Because you are a beautiful person, and my family is really messed up, and I’ve been very depressed. I think I can understand you.”
“Yes, I am a good person. And when you take people’s pictures, don’t disrespect them.”
“No, man, I won’t. I like people. That’s why I take their pictures.”
“And when you make your portfolio, don’t denigrate people. Let the pictures speak for themselves.”
“I will. Are you safe on the streets?”
“Yes, I am…And now I have $8 to buy me some food.”
“That’s all I have. Next time I see you, I will give you more.”
“No, man. It ain’t all about money. Give me a hug. And next time you see me, give me a hug again. And thanks for taking my picture.”