Egypt's Tourism and Antiquities Minister Khaled El-Anani met on Sunday with Gloria Walker, a 56-year-old cancer stricken American citizen, who flew from Philadelphia to Cairo to realise her lifelong dream of visiting the country's pyramids.
El-Anani welcomed Walker and expressed his appreciation of her fondness of the country and its ancient civilization, wishing her a speedy recovery from her illness.
The minister ordered the extension of Walker’s visit for one day to allow her to visit Luxor — one of the main tourist destinations in Egypt’s south, according to a statement by the ministry.
Walker expressed her great pleasure at meeting the Egyptian minister, thanking him for helping her fulfil her life’s dream.
Walker was diagnosed with terminal cancer last year. Her son, Dustin Vitale, who made her dream known on social media, described the visit as his mother's sole wish and lifetime dream.
The Egyptian Coordination’s Committee of Party’s Youth Leaders and Politicians (CPYP) has communicated with Walker's son, offering a one-week trip to Egypt.
Representatives from the CPYP have escorted Walker and her family since the beginning of her trip from JFK airport in New York.
The American citizen and her family were received at Cairo International Airport on Saturday by the chairman of the Egyptian Tourism Promotion Authority, Ahmed Youssef.
In a post on Facebook on Wednesday, the US Embassy thanked all those who made Gloria Walker's dream come true.
"Thanks to the son’s tireless fundraising efforts as well as Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities , The Coordination’s Committee of Party’s Youth Leaders and Politicians, and everyone else who played a part in this dream-come-true initiative," the embassy wrote.
Egypt's Tourism Minister Khaled El-Anani (L) had a conversation with Gloria Walker and her son, Dustin Vitale, who accompanied her during the trip (Photo courtesy of the Egyptian tourism ministry)
Egypt's Tourism Minister Khaled El-Anani (L) and Gloria Walker during her visit to the Pyramids areas (Photo courtesy of the Egyptian tourism ministry)
Egypt's Tourism Minister Khaled El-Anani, Gloria Walker, and her family members took a photo at the Sphinx of Giza to remember the occasion (Photo courtesy of the Egyptian tourism ministry)