A 12-Year-Old Girl With A Rare Genetic Disease Found An Unlikely Friend In A Powerlifter Nicknamed “The Beast”

David “The Beast” Douglas lives up to his nickname.  The ex-marine is a three-time Camp Pendleton athlete of the year and can bench press 600 pounds and squat over 900 pounds. With all that, he’s found an even stronger, more inspiring friend in Lindsay Ratcliffe.

Lindsay suffers from a rare genetic disorder called progeria. It causes children to age very rapidly, six to eight times the normal rate. Fortunately, Lindsay has developed a great bond with David.

ABC News reports the two met at Relentless Powerlifting Competition in Minnesota. The event was called, “Strong Men & Women. Stronger Kids” was also a fundraiser for HopeKids, an organization designed to provided activities and support for children with life threatening medial conditions. It was friendship at first sight and they’ve been close ever since.

David told ABC that meeting her has been life-changing and inspiring due to how incredibly strong the little girl is, despite her condition. Over the years, David and Lindsay have become very close. Douglas even calls her his “little sis.”

Despite living in different states, the two continue to grow closer and closer.  They talk to each other regular through video chats and visit each other as much as possible. David recently surprised her with a visit to Detroit for a charity walk and Lindsay travelled to visit him in the hospital before a surgery.

I love this picture so much.

Posted by Jake Hamilton Fox 32 Chicago on Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The photo above was taken by Jake Hamilton of Fox 32 in Chicago and it went viral with thousands of shares and likes.

“I’m just another guy that lifts weights, she lifts spirits,” he told ABC News. “She puts smiles on people’s faces and pumps love into their hearts.”

You can help Lindsay by going to her fundraising page here and you can follow these links to learn more about Relentless and HopeKids.