By his own admission, Dustin Vitale is a mama’s boy. He cooks her breakfast every morning and thanks her for the privilege.
When his mom, Gloria, was diagnosed with terminal bladder cancer last year, he decided he would try to take her on one last trip — the trip she always dreamed of — to see the pyramids in Egypt. He also wanted to bring along all 14 family members.
Never mind that Dustin works as a middle school teacher in Philadelphia and could never afford the $10,000 to bring everyone. Still, he thought he could raise cheddar by selling cheesesteaks, even though he doesn’t own a restaurant.
“I got a kitchen, though,” he said.
So with his mom’s love and her recipe, Dustin started making sandwiches that were so big no container could contain them. He pedaled them to friends and family.
Those people must have told their friends and family, too. Almost immediately cars started double-parking outside his house. Faces he didn’t recognize started showing up at his front door.
“Get your mom to Egypt,” one customer said.
“Trying man, trying,” Dustin said.
Word also spread on social media and before he knew it, folks were lined up down the block. A food truck operator offered his services and in just six weeks Dustin raised all the money he needed and then some. He had made $18,000.
“If she would have asked to go to the moon, I would have made that happen, as well,” Dustin said.
Their trip is planned for later this year. Gloria says Cleopatra never had it so good. “The love, it’s overwhelming, you know.”
“She’s probably mentally as healthy as she has ever been in her whole life,” Dustin said.