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Son fulfills dream trip of mom who’s been battling terminal cancer



  • Gloria Walker, who dreams of seeing the Egyptian pyramids with her family, was diagnosed with terminal cancer last year.
  • Her son, Dustin Vitale started selling cheesesteaks to fulfill this dream.
  • With the help of the entire family and some friends, he was able to raise $18,000 for the family trip set to happen later this year.

When you know the whys of what you do, you will always have reasons to carry on.

Take the case of Dustin Vitale, a devoted son who began selling cheesesteak so he could give his mom her last dream trip.

Dustin’s 56-year-old mom, Gloria Walker, was diagnosed with terminal cancer last year. This snatched her hopes that her dream to see the pyramids in Giza, Egypt with her family would ever come true.

This didn’t stop Dustin, though, to fulfill the dream of his mom. To raise money for Gloria’s wish, which she never really asked him, the 26-year-old history teacher at First Philadelphia Preparatory Charter School took advantage of his other passion: cheesesteak.

Using his mom’s recipe, Dustin started a small business venture with the help of the entire family. He and his wife Hailey share griddle duty; his stepdad is in charge of preparation; his dad, stepmom, sister and brother, as well as friends, have also united to work toward the goal.

Soon, all their efforts paid off, and Dustin’s cheesesteak has become the talk of the town.

“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,” Dustin told the Philadelphia Enquirer. “We ended up doing 94 in one day and we were like just blown away.”

The family was astonished that they were able to attract cheesesteak lovers, but what surprised them more was when award-winning Philadelphia chef Michael Solomonov gave Dustin and his crew a five-star Instagram thumbs-up!


Consumer demand then soared, making it hard for the team to keep up with it as they didn’t have a commercial kitchen to work in. But blessings didn’t stop from pouring. A local food truck owner offered his mobile cooking facility to Dustin.

All the hard work, with cheesesteak day starting as early as 4 am, gave off Dustin $18,000 — more than enough money to bring his mom and family to Giza later this year.

Despite the popularity of his cheesesteak and people’s idea that he could open up a shop, Dustin said that he has no plans of changing his career path. He only loves this cheesesteak project to be “on the side” as his heart really goes for the students.

Since Dustin started this part-time business in February, it had been a smooth journey, fueled by his overflowing love for his mom.

“If she would have asked to go to the moon,” he told CBS News, “I would have made that happen, as well.”

Photo Credit: Good News Network