After beating an eating disorder, raising her younger sister, and then going on to help more women suffering from eating disorders, this California waitress was overdue for some good luck. With the help of a hidden-camera prank show, she received just that.
Chelsea Roff works as a waitress at Spring Street Smokehouse, a barbecue restaurant in Los Angeles, California. At first glance, she looks no different from any other young adult.
However, behind her beautiful smile is a painful history. At 14 years old, Chelsea was diagnosed with an eating disorder: anorexia nervosa—she only weighed 58 pounds (approx. 26 kg).
Her mother rushed Chelsea to the hospital, as her organs were failing—a heart valve was leaking; her skin was turning yellow from liver failure, and doctors told her mother they believed she only had a few days to live, Chelsea later said at TEDxStLouis.
Deeply concerned about the extent of her health issues, Emergency Room staff called Child Protective Services (CPS), and a judge awarded the hospital custody over her and her younger sister.
From that point, her foster family were the same doctors and nurses treating her. She also took it upon herself to be her sister’s primary caregiver.
A life devoid of luck suddenly struck fortune when Chelsea became a participant on Break.com’s “Prank it FWD” hidden-camera show, a different kind of prank show, where the focus is helping, and not embarrassing, its unknowing participants.
On this particular episode, Chelsea encounters four extremely generous customers—all of whom are “Prank it Fwd” collaborators. The first collaborator left her a lofty cash tip of $1,000.
Next, she meets a couple who claim to have forgotten to bring enough cash for a tip. However, they also claimed to be travel agents and offered her an all-expenses-paid vacation for two to Hawaii in lieu of cash.
For Chelsea’s third tip, she met Dr. Susan Krevoy. Chelsea quickly took notice of Dr. Krevoy, as she was reading a book about yoga.
Looking at her book, Chelsea queries, “oh, you do yoga?” adding, “I teach yoga.”
“I’m trying to learn,” replies Dr. Krevoy. “How did you get into yoga anyway?”
Chelsea explains that she began doing yoga after one of her eating-disorder therapists recommended she try it, believing it would be “really beneficial” for her. The therapist was correct, as Chelsea described yoga as “life-changing” during her recovery.
Dr. Krevoy listens to her story intently and, after she’s finished, offers her a job at a non-profit eating-disorder program she’s been running for the last 14 years. “The one component that I’m missing,” Dr. Krevoy explains, “is yoga. I was wondering if you have any interest in, you know, being part of the program,” she asks.
Slightly taken aback after all the good luck that day, Chelsea expresses her interest in the program with a smile.
Chelsea’s fourth tip came as a major shock—as she came to collect the fourth, and final, collaborator’s check, she was handed a car key instead of cash.
Insisting there must be some mistake, she tries to hand the key back, and so the customer leads her outside and reveals Chelsea’s brand-new car.
As the car rolls up, a familiar face steps out of the driver’s seat: Chelsea’s very first yoga instructor, Diana Roehl, which immediately sends her into an emotional frenzy.
Her joyful smile was long overdue, and if there was anyone who needed some good fortune, it was this waitress.