Eastern Schedules Bone Marrow Drive For Tuesday
WILLIMANTIC, Conn. -- A bone marrow transplant
drive will be conducted by the Eastern Connecticut State University
athletic department this coming Tuesday, Oct. 23 to help
senior soccer player Jon DeCasanova of
DeCasanova, 21, was preparing for his fourth soccer season this past summer when he began experiencing fatigue, headaches and nosebleeds this past July, and was twice admitted to the hospital. Later in the summer, a bone marrow biopsy revealed that he has Aplastic Anemia. Since Labor Day, he has been receiving treatment as a patient at Hartford Hospital.
Anyone between the age of 18 and 44 is asked to join the registry between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the Eastern Sports Center. The test for bone marrow transplant candidates is painless and takes only a few minutes.
“Jon’s condition has put everything in perspective for all of us,” noted Greg DeVito, Eastern’s sixth-year head men’s soccer coach. “Jon’s teammates are dealing with it the best that they can. For most of them, it’s the first time they’ve seen anyone their age sick like this.”
Aplastic anemia occurs when bone marrow – which is responsible for supplying the body with blood cells -- stops working effectively. Bone marrow is responsible for supplying the body with three types of blood cells: red blood cells which deliver oxygen to all parts of the body, white blood cells which protect the body from germs, and platelets needed for blood to clot.
It is not possible to predict whether the bone marrow drive will produce a match for DeCasanova, although the odds are not considered to be in his favor. However, DeVito says that his senior player is hoping that the drive will benefit others.
“Jon feels that it’s not about him,” says DeVito of DeCasanonva, who has been a starting player in his program since being recruited prior to DeVito’s third season. “Jon is hoping that maybe this can help someone else. He’s thinking about others.”
DeCasanova’s teammates have provided the energy for the bone marrow drive by distributing flyers, and on the day of testing at the Sports Center, will assist with greeting potential donors and with the registration process.
For more information, contact “Be the Match” at 800-283-8385 ext. 720 or visit “Be The Match.com”.