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Thanks to an Uber passenger, this man will see his son compete in Rio

When Ellis Hill's son, Darrell, qualified for the Rio Olympics in the shot put event, he was exceptionally proud. But he never thought he'd actually get to go and see him compete for Team USA in Brazil.

Then Ellis, who works as an Uber driver in the Philadelphia area, picked up passenger Liz Willock. During the course of an hour journey, the pair chatted and he eventually revealed his son was an Olympian. There was no way on Earth he could afford to go see him compete though, he added.

Then Willock, who works for a concierge service that facilitates travel for those needing clinical trials around the world, asked him a question: "What if I could help you get there?"

"When I told her about my son she was really amazed, but when she asked me if I was going over there to watch him, I said I really couldn't afford it," Hill, a retired bus driver, told People.

"It was devastating to hear that," Willock said. "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." 

The pair exchanged information and the next day Willock created a GoFundMe page aiming to raise $7,500 and fund the journey. A week later, that target has of course been smashed.

Ellis is on his way to Rio.

Of the 150-odd early donors only 10 or so know Ellis, Willock says. The rest are strangers. The pair has been making arrangements for him to head out and cheer his son on in the track and field event.

"I haven't seen my son in a couple months because he's been training," Hill added. "I cant wait to see him and encourage him in person and let him know I'm 100 per cent in his corner."

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