Sam Berns – Be Brave

Sam Berns shares his inspiring story about being brave in the face of a rare illness that almost stopped him from reaching his dreams.

I don’t want people to feel bad for me. And it wasn’t always easy. Sometimes I faltered. I had bad days. I have a disease called progeria. Just to give you an idea, I weigh about only 50 pounds. Logistically, I really couldn’t carry a regular-sized snare drum. Because of this, the band director assigned me to play pit percussion during the halftime show. Now, pit percussion was fun but it involved no marching, and I was just so devastated. However, nothing was going to stop me from playing snare drum with the marching band in the halftime show. So my family and I worked with an engineer to design a snare drum harness that would be lighter and easier for me to carry. After continuous work, we made a snare drum apparatus that weighs only about 6 pounds.

“Being brave isn’t supposed to be easy. For me, I feel it’s the key way to keep moving forward. With this philosophy, I hope that all of you, regardless of your obstacles, can have a very happy life as well. I feel that no matter what I choose to become, I believe that I can change the world. As I’m striving to change the world, I will be happy.”