The best son a mom could ask for!
A Philadelphia son sold cheesesteaks to fundraise for his mom’s dream trip to see the Egyptian pyramids, the Good News Network reports.
Gloria Walker has always dreamed of journeying to Giza to see the Egyptian pyramids. Her dream trip was to make the trek and be able to take her family with her. Unfortunately, Walker was diagnosed with stage 4 terminal cancer last year, and the cost of travel, an estimated $10,000, just didn’t seem feasible for her, given her illness.
That’s when her 26-year-old son Dustin Vitale stepped in, promising his mom to make her dream a reality. Vitale took inventory of his passions - teaching, his family, and cheesesteaks - and figured the Philly staple, which he admits to consuming multiple times a week, might be the best way to raise funds. Using his mom’s recipe, he began selling the cheesesteaks in February, with the help of his entire family.
“We didn’t know how long the hype was going to last, so we decided to just keep telling everyone and see how many we get. We ended up doing 94 in one day, and we were like just blown away,” he said.
Vitale and his wife Hailey work the griddle, with his stepfather in charge of prep and his Dad, stepmom, sister, and brother all supporting any way they can, the family’s day starting at 4 a.m. to bake homemade rolls.
Vitale began chronicling the journey via Instagram, drawing a legion of supporters.
“If you are interested in supporting me in trying to make my mom’s dream come true as she battles cancer...You can support by purchasing a cheesesteak, chicken cheesesteak, or buffalo chicken cheesesteak (all come with fries and a tooonnnn of meat). All for just $15,” Vitale wrote on social media.
He quickly caught the attention of Philadelphia award-winning chef Michael Solomonov, who stopped by to support Vitale’s efforts and gave him a rave review for his cause and his cheesesteak on social media. That’s when the stakes skyrocketed, and Vitale began struggling to keep up with the demand. A local food truck owner stepped in and allowed the team to work out of his mobile kitchen.
In just six weeks, Vitale raised $18,000, enough to cover the cost of the trip for the entire family like his mother wants, with money left over to spare. They are traveling to Giza later on this year, and he couldn’t be more grateful. While the experience was amazing, he has no plans to switch professions; he just wanted to do anything he could to make his mom happy.
“So many people say, ‘Are you going to jump into this and open up a shop? I could never. I love doing this on the side. My heart and passion is teaching and for the students. If [my mom] would have asked to go to the moon...I would have made that happen, as well,” Vitale said.
We are sending love to you both, Dustin and Gloria! What a beautiful bond!
Photo Courtesy of Dustin Vitale/Good News Network