Health influencer Adriana ‘Drika’ Thyssen dies aged 49 after losing 100lbs in just over a year as her family asks for ‘prayers and compassion’
- Adriana Thyssen, known as ‘Drika’ online, was a Brazilian fitness influencer
- She was inspired to begin her online journey after years of struggling with addiction and depression
- A cause of death has yet to be confirmed
Fitness influencer Adriana Thyssen was found dead in her apartment at 49 years old, prompting an outpouring of support from followers while her family pleaded for compassion.
The Brazilian influencer, affectionately known as ‘Drika,’ lost close to 100lbs in just over a year and sought to inspire others to choose a healthy lifestyle using her massive social media presence.
Thyssen’s body was found in her apartment on September 17.
At the time of her death, she boasted 1.7 million followers on Facebook and ran a plus-sized activewear and clothing label called ‘Drikas Store.’ The brand account had nearly 76,000 followers on Instagram.
Thyssen’s death was announced through an Instagram post on the Instagram account for her clothing brand. It read simply: ‘It is with deep sadness and regret that our team and family Blog da Drika and Drikas Store inform you of the death of our dear Drika.
‘In this moment of pain, we ask for everyone’s prayers and compassion.’
A woman claiming to be Thyssen’s cousin from São Paulo commented on the post. She said the influencer, as a public figure, had been bullied.
‘She was strong, for a long, long time. She always looked for love and only received crumbs,’ the woman, Amanda Lourenço, wrote.
‘Haters have already done too much, so at this moment, I ask everyone for compassion, understanding and empathy.’
In a follow-up comment, she begged people to consider the impact of their words and to treat each other with kindness.
‘Please continue to keep her in your prayers. This way she can find the peace she wanted so much (even though it’s not in the fairest way),’ she wrote.
‘Take care of yourselves, take care of those who are with you. Think before saying ANYTHING to others, because we don’t know what they are going through and your words can hurt a lot.’
Thyssen hailed from Uberlândia in Minas Gerais, Brazil. She admitted that she had struggled with being overweight since she was a teenager.
In a post welcoming new followers, she wrote: ‘I started the fight on 02/18/13, I weighed 107kg (236lbs), I wasn’t pregnant and I didn’t have bariatric surgery. I was unemployed and with my husband I was in debt at the bank.’
She added that she tried countless diets and was ‘chronically addicted to amphetamines for 18 years,’ which led her down a spiral of depression and alcoholism.
At 39 years old, Thyssen decided to begin her fitness journey and post updates to her small audience of 100 followers.
She began eating fruits and salads and drinking teas and juices. As she couldn’t afford to go to a nutritionist, she designed her own diet using tips she got online.
‘I didn’t even have decent clothes for working out and the sneakers were old but I didn’t care about that, I just wanted to see the scales go down,’ she wrote. ‘Life got better.’
She shared her weight and gym routine weekly. In eight months, she lost 77lbs and seven months later, she managed to lose another 22lbs.
‘Drika’s Blog was born in February 2013 when Drika weighed 107kg and decided to use social media to achieve a new lifestyle. Today, 45kg (99) less, she encourages people who seek a healthy life with lots of humor and love!’ reads her YouTube bio.
While Thyssen’s cause of death remains unclear, social media posts suggest she may have taken her own life.
‘I will miss your stories, the early morning chats…’ one woman wrote in a post dedicated to the social media star.
Another woman wrote: ‘Yesterday I lost a beautiful virtual friend who supported me a lot with my eating re-education.
‘She was an amazing, beautiful woman, and she committed suicide, so it’s time for you to stop talking nonsense and start ONLY listening to more people with depression.’
Several users lamented about how Thyssen’s death had occurred during ‘Yellow September,’ or suicide awareness month, which is represented by a yellow ribbon.
The influencer was buried at Cemitério Bom Jesus in Araguari. Only family members were invited to attend the funeral proceedings.