May 31, 2021
By Andy Johnson
He’s known on TikTok as Piano Grandad.
In reality, he’s 85 year old Alan Melinek, who taught himself to play the piano after being evacuated as a child during World War Two.
And he’s raised thousand of dollars for cancer research in the UK with his TikTok videos.
After his wife died of ovarian cancer in 2006, he began raising money with monthly concerts but, when the pandemic halted that, his granddaughter set him up on the video sharing app during lockdown.
Now Alan Melinek himself has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
Videos of him playing have attracted more than 48,000 followers. After announcing the diagnosis on TikTok, the funds raised doubled to more than $7,000.
His family says the recent increase in donations was “lifting his spirits” and he says the most important thing to him has always been to beat this disease.