Teen builds life back after mom's death

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SARASOTA COUNTY - This week is Women’s Health Week. And the daughter of a woman killed by a drunken driver on Siesta Key last year talks candidly about getting her health and her life back after the death of her mother.

Tiffany Chen’s whole world turned upside down following the untimely death of her mother. Already struggling with physical and emotional issues, the teen hit an all-time low weight of 76 pounds, resulting in hospitalization.

This Mother’s Day we caught up with her to see how she's doing.

“After she passed away, I kind of like threw my hands up in the air and said, ‘forget about it, it’s not worth it.’ I stopped trying, I stopped trying."

Chen says she didn’t feel there was anything to fight for. She was disillusioned and didn’t understand why God had taken her mother. "I thought to myself ‘well, what's the point? What's the point of fighting for something?’ Because she was my biggest motivator, she was my pusher, she was like, you have to get better."

Chen says that the light had gone out of her life. But she is resilient and found a mentor in local fitness trainer Holly Beck, who coached her back to health and wellness. "It’s been my life raft; I grabbed a hold of it, and I’m floating down the river, and I feel like it saved me from destroying myself."

She placed first in the Teen Bikini category at the NPC Europa Expo in Orlando, and applies the disciplines from competition training to life. "It’s one thing when I'm in the gym and I'm lifting, and I'm like, one more rep or maybe five more pounds of weight…I can lift for that day, that's a victory. I have to carry that victory over into the other parts of my day."

She says she's still coming back and doesn’t feel she's quite made it over the hump yet. That in order to come back from something you have to take steps. "Sometimes you have to just leap, ands take a risk for the better, I still feel scared about it all day, every day."

Chen’s advice to those going through tough times, unable to see the light at the end of the tunnel? "I feel like it boils down to what you do, rather than waiting to feel ok about it, you could be waiting forever. You just have to go and keep going".

Chen’s advice for those that can’t see light at the end of the tunnel? Keep going, just get up every day. It’s going to take a really long time for you to feel better, and she says she still doesn’t feel good all the time. But it helps to find something that motivates you, that gives you passion in life and keeps you driven so that you can focus on that.

Very wise words from a very strong young lady.