Son sells cheesesteaks to fund mom's final trip with the whole family

April 26th, 2021

When Dustin Vitale found out that his mother had late-stage bladder cancer, he had a question for her. He wanted to know what one thing she would do if she could do anything. Her answer was simple but not easily attainable. She wanted to see the pyramids in Egypt. She also wanted her entire family along with her for the trip.

It wasn’t something that was easy to manage, especially on Dustin’s teacher’s salary, but that wouldn’t stop the devoted son from trying. He wanted to show his love for his mother by giving her something she had always wanted.

An idea is born

Later, at Christmas, Dustin was at home and serving his family cheesesteaks. It’s one of his favorite things to eat and also to make. It was then, while enjoying the meal, that he had an idea. He knew how he would try to raise at least $10,000 for the last family vacation with his mom.

He was going to do it by making and selling cheesesteaks. It just felt right.

Building momentum

Shortly after that, local chef Michael Solomonov came by and bought several of the cheesesteaks. They were good enough that he had to write an amazing review on Instagram. That’s when things really started to take off.

Making it work

On the first day, they sold 94 cheesesteaks. It turned out that was a lot to make! Dustin realized there were limits to how many he could produce. So, he created a daily limit of 100 and promised the cheesesteaks just three days a week. That was enough to get him closer and closer to his goal.
Egypt was starting to seem like it might become a reality as Dustin and his wife, Hailey, kept the grill going on those long days.

Scaling up

The demand kept growing. People were showing up at Dustin’s house and double parking just for a chance to pick up some cheesesteaks. It wasn’t just friends and family. Everyone was coming by, even complete strangers.

That’s when someone with a food truck offered to help and give him more cooking space. Thanks to that kind offer, and to the community that pulled together for good food and an even better cause, it wouldn’t be long until Dustin had enough money to show his mom another part of the world.

In fact, it only took six weeks for him to surpass his original goal of $10,000. He ended up with a total of $18,000 for the journey.

Getting there

Now that they have enough money collected to bring the entire family to Egypt, the next thing is to begin the journey! They have it planned for later this year.

Dustin’s mom, Gloria, is both grateful and proud of her son. We can see why. That’s real love.

Do you want to hear more about their amazing story?

Check out the video below:

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CBS Evening News via YouTube

Dustin Vitale via Instagram