If it’s one thing Dustin Vitale learned this past year, it’s that life is precious. That motto is why he wanted to take his mother, Gloria, on a dream trip to Egypt.

“My mom always loved Egypt,” Vitale told Travel Noire. “Her favorite movie was the 10 commandments, and she would always talk about Egypt, but she’s always been afraid to fly.”

Battling stage 4 bladder cancer is what Dustin believes gave his mother the confidence to fly. With that confidence, Dustin got right to work to raise money for the trip that his mother had always dreamed of.

Dustin sold cheesesteaks from his house and raised more than $23,000. That was enough money to not only take his mother but his siblings, nieces, and nephews for Mother’s Day 2021— three months ahead of schedule.


When Egyptian officials found out about Dustin and Ms. Gloria’s journey, they honored the family with the keys to the city of Sharm El Sheikh.

“That is where Moses received the 10 commandments on Mt. Sinai not too far from here,” he said. “The keys were given to us by the governor of Sinai. My mom helped me make history! She made my dream come true! Who would have thought my gesture of love for my mom and selling cheesesteaks would become all of this! Only God.”

The one thing Dustin says he will remember the most about the dream trip to Egypt is seeing his mom so happy.

“There was a moment when I was watching her, everyone was surrounding her, and she was cracking jokes and smiling. I remember telling my wife and brother that I have never seen mom so happy in my life.”

Dustin says his mom was given two years to live. She died three weeks after he took her and his entire family on the trip to Egypt.


Vitale doesn’t plan to stop selling cheesesteaks. As a middle school teacher in Philadelphia, he hopes to open a restaurant that would be run by his students. His goal is to teach them financial literacy and entrepreneurship.