“The Beast” David Douglas can lift a lot of weight. My dude here’s capable of deadlifting 770 pounds. He benches 600. Squats over 900. And yes, he’s real.
Douglas is also a former Marine, and a three-time Camp Pendleton athlete of the year.
But his best work isn’t done in a gym or with a barbell. It’s with being a big brother to 12-year-old Lindsay Ratcliffe.
Lindsay suffers from progeria, an unfortunate disorder that ages human beings 8-10 times the normal rate. Most people with the disorder live an average of 13 years.
Douglas first met Lindsay at Relentless, which was a powerlifting event sponsored by HopeKids, an organization that benefits children with rare diseases. Since the moment they meet, she became his “little sis.”
Turns out Lindsay was a fan of his and the coordinator of the event reached out to David, asking him if he’d be so kind as to meet with him. He immediately agreed and they’ve been friends ever since. He wrote about his relationship with Lindsay on Aplus:
“I knew she meant something to me, but after everything that has happened, there is 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. That is why I made it my duty to help her out in any way that I can. We tried hard to get her on the Ellen show so that we could spread her story of this rare condition to the world, but fell short, but still truly hoping to get on there. One of Lindsay’s favorite shows.”
This viral photo of the duo, taken by Fox Chicago, was shared over 100,000 times and helped bring attention to Lindsay and other kids suffering from rare diseases.
After the Relentless Detroit lifting event, Douglas and Lindsay kept in touch and became very close friends.
Douglas even surprised Lindsay by flying to Michigan for a charity walk.
“I will forever remember that moment and that feeling seeing her run to me and smile.”