BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. – A car enthusiast in Blue Springs is spreading joy by giving people with illnesses the chance to ride in the vehicle of their dreams.
Chuong Nguyen launched Rides for Hope KC on Facebook last Friday. The group had nearly 1,300 members as of Sunday evening.
“I didn’t expect it to blow up as quickly as it did,” Nguyen said. “I honestly believe pretty much everyone has a good side to them, [some] just don’t know how to open up.”
Nguyen got the idea for the group after having a conversation with his neighbor, Toby Lewis, who has been battling cancer on and off since he was 16-years-old. Lewis is 46.
“I was like, ‘Hey, Toby you’re a car guy. What’s the one car you’ve always wanted to ride in, and he said a Lamborghini,” Nguyen recalled.
Nguyen posted on his private Facebook account, asking his followers if they had a Lamborghini and would be willing to take Lewis for a ride. He quickly found people willing to help.
“Literally, in 10 minutes we had, in my car group, I had five Lamborghini owners just ready to jump at the occasion,” Nguyen said.
It was a dream come true for Lewis.
“It was completely breathtaking how everything went and how good-hearted people are,” Lewis said. “It was an incredible experience.”
In the last month, Lewis has undergone brain surgery and had a tumor, the size of a lemon, removed from his lung. The father of two has stage four lung cancer.
“To see somebody that would just completely drop everything and donate their time, I mean it means hope,” he said.
It also was the springboard for Rides for Hope KC.
“I felt that I brought so much joy to him, so I started brain-storming and thought we could spread this joy to other people,” Nguyen said.
Nguyen said he has hundreds of drivers with unique cars ready to help people take their dream ride, he’s just looking for more stories like Lewis’ to make them happen.
“Once you help somebody, you’re just waiting to do it again and again and again,” Nguyen said. “Hopefully, it brings people together. That’s my ultimate goal.
In addition to cars, Nguyen said there also plans to offer plane, boat and horse rides in the future. If you would like to submit a ride request or become a driver, click here.