In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Dustin Vitale is just like any other guy where he loves his mom — and it’s clear he loves her dearly. Every single day, he cooks her some breakfast and then thanks his mom for the great life he has had.
His mom’s name is Gloria Walker. She is 56-years-old. Gloria was diagnosed with terminal bladder cancer in 2020. Since 2020, Dustin has vowed to help her take one last trip of a lifetime.
You see, Gloria has always wanted to visit the pyramids in Egypt. It’s been a major dream of hers, ever since she was a little girl. Between working as a hospital dietician, raising a family, and an aversion to flying in general, Gloria’s never visited Egypt once in her life.
Reportedly, Dustin had asked her:
“If there’s one thing in the world you can do, what would it be?”
His mom replied with:
“I’d like to see the pyramids”
Now, Gloria is in a vulnerable position these days and it’s clear that she wouldn’t want to go to Egypt alone, or with just her husband, who is named Tone. Instead, Dustin’s plan is to bring along all 14 family members to come to join her on this trip.
Now, this is where the problem lies — Dustin isn’t exactly the richest guy around. Dustin is a Cairn University graduate and he teaches middle school history at First Philadelphia Preparatory Charter School in the city’s Frankford section.
Dustin would need $10,000 to bring everyone aboard for this awesome trip to Egypt. Even so, Dustin was determined to make things happen.
Dustin wanted to fundraise money to see if he could make his mother’s dream a reality. In his case, he decided to sell many cheesesteak sandwiches. Now, Dustin is not a restaurant guy, so these sandwiches must have tasted pretty awesome for them to fly off the grill.
Last year, in Christmas 2020, Dustin and his wife Hailey would often make cheesesteaks for the family. For Dustin, he loves his cheesesteak and would eat them two to three times a week.
On a dare once in 2018, he was told to eat 100 cheesesteaks. He ended up eating 100 by May of the same year and completed the year with 192.
Anyways, the recipe Dustin was invented by his very own mom. He made so many of these sandwiches that he had forward them to various people, including many friends and family.
His friends and family told their friends and their friends’ family members too. Eventually, cars started double-parking along the outside of Dustin’s house.
At one point, Philadelphia chef Michael Solomonov entered the picture. Michael once met the Vitales at K’Far, which is one of Michael’s restaurants, dropped by on March 6, bought a bunch, and posted a rave review on Instagram, which was met with a lot of interest online.
Literally, strangers showed up at Dustin’s door just to help buy some of the sandwiches. For example, one customer showed up and said,
“Get your mom to Egypt.”
It’s fascinating how well received his sandwiches were. Eventually, word spread further on social media, and people started lining up and down the block. At one point, even a food truck operator wanted to offer his services to help remedy the situation.
In less than six weeks, Dustin ended up raising a whopping $18,000 — all through the power of wonderfully tasting cheesesteak sandwiches.
When people asked Dustin about the situation, he had this to say:
“If she [mom] would have asked to go to the moon, I would have made that happen, as well.”
As for now, the trip is being planned for possibly later in the year. For people like Gloria, who are struggling to make their dreams a reality, we can only hope that our children will go to great lengths to help, just as Dustin did for her. In places like Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a lot of things are possible, especially in the name of love.