Source: facebook.com/davidthebeastdouglas

Girl with a Rare Genetic Condition Befriends Ex-marine, Teaches Him to Be Strong

Stephen Thompson
Mar 01, 2022
11:00 A.M.
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A marine veteran recognizes strength in a little girl suffering from a rare genetic condition and befriends her because of it. She taught him to be strong, and he gave her friendship — here's their story. 


When anyone hears the word "strong," they automatically summon an image of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson or former marine David "The Beast" Douglas.

In truth, these men are strong, but one of them has admitted that there's a scrawny little girl somewhere that is stronger than he is. Of course, it's figurative in her case — the girl in question is named Lindsay Ratcliffe, and she suffers from a rare condition known as Progeria. In simple terms, it means the girl ages about 8–10 times faster than the average girl child. 

David "The Beast" Douglas in a picture with Lindsay Ratcliffe at the gym [left], David "The Beast" Douglas and Lindsay Ratcliffe holding hands [right] | Source: facebook.com/davidthebeastdouglas


Initial symptoms could include; a larger head, bulging eyes, a small lower jaw, a thin nose with a hooked tip, ears that stick out, visible veins, stunted tooth growth, and rapid hair loss. 

She lives in Detroit, Michigan, and Douglas says she is the source of his strength. In 2014, the two were captured in a photo walking hand in hand at an event that went down in Minnesota. 

He wore a top that expressed his unshakable respect for Lindsay and her spirit. The words "strong" and "stronger" were written on his shirt, and the word stronger had an arrow pointing at Lindsay, who walked by his side. 


The shot was posted via Douglas's Facebook page, and it quickly went viral because of the sheer contrast between him and Lindsay. Their bond is so strong that the ex-marine even calls her "little sis." 

The pair first met when Douglas was invited to join the Relentless biannual powerlifting competition in 2013. He had been told earlier on that he would be meeting a girl, but nobody told him she would melt his heart. 

He speaks to her family via Facebook once a week and tries to chat with her whenever he can. 


When they first met, she gave him a gift and admitted how big of a fan she was, which humbled the big man who knew she was going through a lot more than he could ever hope to understand. 

Before he was invited to the competition, Douglas had been at a low point, but his meeting with Lindsay changed all that. 

After the competition, they went to a mall, and she remembered how scared he was of roller coasters, so she dragged him to one and assured him all would be well.


Needless to say, he doubted it, so she told him he would be fine since he could hold her hand — it was another demonstration of strength that floored Douglas, but he took her up on it, and they've been friends ever since. 

Over the years, their friendship has blossomed, and Lindsay has further endeared herself to Douglas. She is also good friends with his daughter and would often spend time doing girly things with her when she visits them. 


Like all friends, she also worries over him and has even been known to fly out with her family to see him whenever he gets an injury. That level of dedication can't go unnoticed, and it is another reason he likes her. 

According to Inside Edition, the pair are always in touch. Douglas said he speaks to her family via Facebook once a week and tries to chat with her whenever he can. 

Her involvement with him has directed his attention towards other children whom he helps through Relentless Detroit, which according to him, has raised more than $1 million since its launch in 2012.


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