This mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer, so her son raised enough money to take her on trip of a lifetime
When Gloria Walker was diagnosed with terminal bladder cancer last year, her son and self-proclaimed mama’s boy, Dustin Vitale, decided to make one of her childhood dreams come true: to see the pyramids in Egypt.
Dustin plans to take all 14 family members on the trip as well, which will cost $10,000. Dustin, 26, works as a middle school teacher and could not afford this on his own.
Last Christmas, Dustin and his wife, Hailey, made cheesesteaks for the whole family. So, he had the idea to raise money by selling cheesesteaks, using his mother’s recipe. He began making the sandwiches and delivering them to friends and family.
Philadelphia chef Michael Solomonov stopped by to purchase a cheesesteak and posted a stellar review on Instagram. As the word spread, cars began double-parking outside of Dustin’s house as people lined up down the block to get a cheesesteak for themselves.
“We ended up doing 94 in one day and we were like just blown away,” said Dustin. A food truck operator offered his services, and in just six weeks Dustin was able to raise $18,000.
“If she would have asked me to go to the moon, I would have made that happen as well,” Dustin said.
Their family trip to Egypt is planned for later this year. Gloria said she felt blessed for her son’s efforts. “The love, it’s overwhelming, you know.”
Dustin said his mother is “probably as mentally healthy as she has ever been in her whole life.”
“So many people say, ‘Are you going to jump into this and open up a shop?’ ” Dustin said. “And I could never. I love doing this on the side. My heart and passion is teaching and for the students.”