David Douglas knows what it means to be strong. He is, after all, a six-foot tall, 330 pound, ex-marine-turned-powerlifter nicknamed “The Beast”. He can bench 600 pounds and deadlift 770, but only when he met 12-year-old Lindsay Ratcliffe did he realise the true meaning of strength.
Lindsay has an extremely rare genetic disorder called Progeria that ages the body 8-10 times faster than normal. This gives Lindsay an average lifespan of just 13 years. “You would never know that she was fighting something so hard,” Douglas told A Plus, “because she is always smiling.” David and Lindsay met in 2013 at a powerlifting event called Relentless. The event is sponsored by HopeKids and is held to benefit children with rare diseases. The two have been friends ever since.
“Lindsay became my lil sis since day one,” Douglas writes. “There are no words to describe how I feel about her. She has pulled me out of rough spots just by thinking of her. That is a priceless gift.”
If you’d like to help Lindsay and her family you can donate here.