Brazilian fitness influencer and plus-sized activewear brand founder Adriana Thyssen, who built up a huge social media following as she struggled to shed weight, has died aged 49.
Thyssen – also known as Drika – was reportedly found in her Uberlândia apartment in Sao Paulo on Sunday but her exact cause of death is unknown.
Her death was announced on social media by the team at Drikas Store, Thyssen’s activewear brand, on Monday.
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“It is with deep sadness and regret that we, the team and family at Drika’s Blog and Drikas Store inform you of the passing of our beloved Drika,” the social media post translated from Portuguese said.
“In this moment of pain, we ask for everyone’s prayer and compassion.”
According to The New York Post, Thyssen weighed almost 100kg when she was 39.
She told her 100 Instagram followers in 2013 she was determined to lose weight and shed almost 50kg within 15 months.
By the time of her death, she had amassed 612,000 followers and her brand page 75,900 followers, many of whom flocked to social media to pay tribute to Thyssen, who inspired many on their own weight loss journeys.
Amanda Lourenco, a woman claiming to be her cousin from São Paulo said in a comment on the post announcing her death that Thyssen had been the subject of bullying for many years.
“Unfortunately, public people go through a lot of attacks and this has been happening for long years,” she said.
“She was strong, for a long, long time.
“She always looked for love and only received crumbs. Haters have already done too much, so at this moment, I ask everyone for compassion, understanding and empathy. Pray for her, so she can find her peace.”
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