Cancer to cured: Fayetteville family hosts 'Be the Match' event

Saturday, March 24, 2018
Angel Smith's dad defied the odds against cancer
Angel Smith's dad defied the odds against cancer.

FAYETTEVILLE, NC (WTVD) -- A Fayetteville teen is working to save lives. Angel Smith is a dancer at E.E. Smith High School, an honor student, and an aspiring doctor.

ABC11 caught up with her as she was getting glammed up for prom. It's a moment most fathers live to see - and if death had its way - Angel's father wouldn't be here to see her.

"No one never knows," said her dad, Phillip Lusane. "It's like a field of flowers out there and you just get plucked. And it's your turn. So it was my turn," said Phillip Lusane.

A decade ago, Lusane was diagnosed with bone cancer.

"It was kind of painful you know going through your bones and knees," said Lusane.

But it was just as painful for Angel.

"He looked so much weaker, skinnier and I was like is everything going to be OK, and I started crying because that wasn't the dad that I left," said Angel Smith.

Her father beat the odds, literally. He's a two-time survivor of a disease that typically kills 80 percent of patients within five years.

"The transplant took place on his actual birthday and what they call it is your other birthday when they do a different stem cell transplant because it makes your body new," said Lusane.

That's the exact feeling Smith wants to give other patients in Fayetteville. Like the ABC11 sponsored event 'Match Madness,' Smith's "Be the Match" Expo will help connect cancer patients with a cure.

"She is showing her love for me. How big her heart is. And you know, helping me she wanted to reach out and help other people," Lusane said.

The Be the Match event takes place Saturday at Cross Creek Mall from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.

For more information on donating please visit or call 1(800) MARROW 2.