Uber driver Ellis Hill had planned to watch his son, Darrell Hill, on television during the Olympic games. The proud father just couldn’t afford to make the trip to Rio to watch Darrell represent the U.S. in the shot put until one single passenger changed everything for him.
While driving Liz Willock around Philadelphia, Penn. for an hour, Ellis told her all about Darrell. When she asked if he would be making the trip to Brazil, Ellis said the only thing that was stopping him was money.
“It was devastating to hear that,” Willock told PEOPLE. “Here’s this wonderful man who has a close relationship with his son and I know any parent would want to see their son or daughter compete at the Olympics, but it was very understandable how that could be out of reach.”
By day, Willock works for an agency that arranges travel for people seeking clinical trials around the world, so if anyone could get Ellis to the southern hemisphere, it was her.
She set up a GoFundMe page, asking for $7,500.
Born in Darby, Pennsylvania, Hill competed for Penn State University and recently graduated with a degree in Rehabilitation and Human Service.
As a proud father, Ellis dreams of traveling to Rio to see his son compete. Please help make this American dream come true.
Mission accomplished. $8,200 was raised.
“There has been so much sadness and violence in the news lately and this really restored my faith in humanity,” Willock said. “We had over 150 people contribute and I think Ellis knew maybe 10 of them. The rest were strangers.”
Would like to personally thank everyone who donated to help my Dad get to Rio, we achieved our goal. God is Good. #Thankful
— Darrell Hill (@B1GHomie) August 1, 2016