75-year-old cancer patient creates online cooking lessons amid pandemic

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DENVER (KDVR) — A Denver daughter was overwhelmed with the love her neighbors showed for her father’s new project. Mike Pangia is a 75-year-old cancer patient who lives on his own in Maryland. He recently turned a passion for cooking into something everyone can enjoy. 

“It’s kind of a surprise, the whole thing. But I’m having a lot of fun,” said Pangia. 

Pangia is an Italian American who grew up in Brooklyn, New York. The former Army Green Beret is using the sudden extra time on his hands to create YouTube videos on how to cook. 

Pangia had lung cancer surgery in February. His daughter, Adellina Pangia, was with him as he recovered for a few weeks. She returned to her home in Denver. Shortly after, the coronavirus pandemic hit. 

“It’s depressing (with) everything going on and he can’t leave his house,” said Adellina. She bought her dad a tripod and small light kit in hopes he would use it to pass the time. Two weeks ago he filmed, edited and posted his first cooking video. 

Pangia noticed there was an interest early on. 

“There are 60 people out there who are really interested in this? That’s amazing!” said Pangia. That first video got more than 10,000 in a matter of days. 

He’s had a steady stream of views, in part thanks to his daughter’s neighbors in Denver. She recently posted a request on Nextdoor asking her neighbors to watch her father’s new videos.  

“I put it up I think on a Friday evening and I woke up Saturday to fan mail,” said Adellina. 

Pangia said his love of cooking comes from a love of eating. He has made all of the recipes dozens of time. He said he knows they are good. 

Pangia has this message to everyone supporting him in what could be a lonely and difficult time:

“God bless you all and thank you for watching.” 

To view Pangia’s videos, visit his YouTube page

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