David Douglas is a six feet tall, 330-pound powerlifter with a heart stronger than his muscles.
David, whose nickname is “The Beast,” first met Lindsay Ratcliffe at Relentless, a powerlifting event sponsored by HopeKids to benefit children with rare diseases. Lindsay is 12 years old and suffers from progeria: a rare genetic disorder that causes children to appear to age rapidly. She was diagnosed at age four.
David says meeting her changed his life.
“Everytime I look at this picture of me and little Lindsay meeting for the first time at Relentless years ago, a rush of emotions come back,” he wrote about the photo above. “This little girl changed my life in so many ways. Today is her birthday and I want to wish the biggest, most deserving birthday to this inspiring, beautiful little girl.”
“Lindsay became my lil sis since day one. 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.”
Recently, a photo of the two holding hands went viral on Facebook.
“People looked at me as strong when everything about her was stronger,” he wrote about the picture above. “Instead of putting those words off to the side, i decided to put it right on me to make the point even louder. You have to look at the big picture of it. Let it soak in instead of nitpicking it. Positive > Negative. Her heart, personality, and smile pours from her and touches everyone around her.”
In 2014, David flew across the country to surpise Lindsay for a charity walk. Watch the heartwarming video below:
“I will forever remember that moment and that feeling seeing her run to me and smile.”
To help Lindsay and her family, you can donate to their fundraising page here.