One man’s $13 Lyft ride ended up turning into the most priceless 20-minute trip of his life.
Matthew Stevens, 28, was feeling down on August 12 after things didn’t work out with a guy he was dating, so he ordered a car to take him from his West Hollywood apartment to a bar to meet some friends in Beverly Hills.
“I ordered the car and I saw it was a yellow pick-up-truck,” the assistant clothing buyer tells PEOPLE. “I wanted to cancel it, but something told me not to.”
When his driver Lupe pulled up, he noticed that he had to open up the front door to get to the back seat.
“I thought it’d be rude to climb in the back, so I sat in the front seat,” he says, “but I really wasn’t in the mood to talk.”
But the two struck up a conversation.
“We were making small talk and I mentioned the guy I was dating,” he says. “But I didn’t want to talk about it, so I asked her if she was seeing anybody.”
To his surprise, she told him she hadn’t dated in 15 years.
When he asked her why not, “she said that her 15-year old son had autism and that she spent her nights working so she could be with him during the day,” he recalls. “My half-brother has autism and it made me feel so bad because my mom doesn’t have to go through what she does.”
“This woman is dedicated to making sure her son has the best life possible,” Stevens says.
As the ride went on, she told Stevens how proud she was of her son and that he was now able to prepare his own meals and do the laundry.
She then added, “it really comes in handy because I was recently diagnosed with cancer, so when I’m away undergoing treatments, I know he’s okay on his own.”
While Stevens was blown away by what she told him, he was also in awe of how positive and optimistic she was.
After he reached his destination, he couldn’t stop thinking about Lupe and her situation.
“I’m complaining about some boy who doesn’t care about me and isn’t going to matter in my life a month from now, and she spends her life taking care of her son despite the problems she has,” he says. “It was a reality check for me.”
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He still couldn’t shake it off, so after talking to a couple friends, he decided to create a GoFundMe page for her and surprise her with a check.
“She has no idea that I’ve started this campaign,” he says. “But she deserves it. I know this is what I’m supposed to be doing – and not focusing on myself right now.”
Stevens says he’s in contact with Lyft and is figuring out how he’s going to surprise Lupe with a large check.
So far, $10,000 has been donated.
“I’m really excited but nervous,” he says. “I just want to help.”