A Philadelphia school teacher made sure his mother, diagnosed with terminal bladder cancer, received the trip of a lifetime.
Dustin Vitale’s mother Gloria dreamed of taking the whole family — 14 people in all — to see the pyramids in Egypt. But at $10,000, Vitale just couldn’t swing it.
But he didn’t let the lofty price tag stop him. He used his mother’s cheesesteak recipe to sell sandwiches out of his house as a side hustle. The sandwiches became so popular that he exceeded his goal in just six weeks. In total, he was able to raise $18,000.
The Egyptian government caught wind of the family’s touching story and helped make it extra special. First, they upgraded Gloria and her husband’s airline tickets to first-class. Then, according to Vitale, the government let them visit a sphinx that is not open to the public. She was even given the keys to the city in Sharm El Sheikh.
Unfortunately, Gloria was hospitalized the day they returned from her dream trip. She was released into hospice care and passed away at home in June at the age of 56.
“If you had seen her in Egypt, you would’ve thought she had three more years, but it ended up being three more weeks,” Vitale told CBS News.
Vitale hopes to honor his mother by opening a restaurant. He wants to name it Gloria’s and continue to sell her now-famous cheesesteaks. He and his wife Hailey are also expecting a boy due this fall, whom they plan to name Glory.