'Superman Sam' Loses Fight to Leukemia, Dies at 8 Years Old

Samuel Asher Sommer Inspired Many to Raise Money for Disease

By JTA

Published December 16, 2013.
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Samuel Asher Sommer, known as “Superman Sam,” whose fight against leukemia inspired many to raise money to fight the disease, has died.

Sam died Saturday in his Chicago-area home at the age of 8. His death was announced during Shabbat morning services at the Union for Reform Judaism biennial convention, according to the Times of Israel. His funeral was on Sunday.

Sam’s 18-month battle against refractory acute myeloid leukemia was chronicled on the Superman Sam blog written by his mother, Rabbi Phyllis Sommer. He also is the son of Rabbi Michael Sommer and has three siblings.

He was known as “Superman Sam” because of his love of superheroes.

Some 48 rabbis, including 10 women, had registered before his death to shave their heads in honor of Sam to raise money for leukemia research through the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. Others had agreed to raise funds in other ways.

Sam was buried in his Superman pajamas and shirt, his favorite hoodie, a Superman blanket and SpongeBob SquarePants sheets, according to the Times of Israel.

Sam had been under home hospice care in the week before his death.

“Sam was not alone for a single moment of his life,” his mother wrote in her latest Superman Sam blog post. “He died peacefully and calmly and quietly at 12:33 am. He was not in fear or in pain. And for that I am eternally grateful.”


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