Bone marrow transplants are done at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston and people there are the ones who let DeCasanova know when a match is found or not. In the meantime, he rests, undergoes tests, reads, watches TV, walks around his floor, fiddles with his computer. He finally got his Xbox recently. Some days are better than others.
"It's not what a 21-year-old should be doing this time of year," DeCasanova said.
"I was there a few days ago, he looked tired and groggy," DeVito said. "But after 20 minutes, he jumps out of bed, gets dressed, goes for a walk around the halls. His attitude is unbelievable. He keeps thinking it's going to happen. I don't think many of us would be as brave and positive as he is about everything, given that he has some pretty bad days."
After Furman scored to beat UMass Dartmouth in overtime Saturday, the Warriors are 15-1-1 and ranked 25th nationally in Division III. They have the Little East playoffs and the NCAAs ahead of them.
"Some days the guys don't always want to talk about stuff," DeVito said. "For most of them, it's the first time they've seen anyone their age sick like this. But they definitely use this as a mantra. They got a captain's arm band for Jon and signed it and brought it to the hospital. Every kid was there Tuesday for the drive. For a while they felt like they were helpless. I know it means a helluva lot to Jon, but mentally I think it helps our guys, too. It makes them feel like they can control something a bit. You also can tell it's wearing on them a little at times. You can see it in their faces."
As DeCasanova's roomate, it is especially so for Furman.
"Not seeing him every day the past three months has been hard," Furman said. "We want to find him a match. Maybe win the Little East and go far in the NCAA. Do it for Jon."
DeCasanova has played soccer since he was 5. It is his one sport. It hurt when he couldn't go to Costa Rica with the team over the summer. It hurts more to be in the hospital as the Warriors play this fall. He longs for another sweet day on the pitch.
"My family is my mom and grandparents [his parents have been divorced since he was young]," Casanova said. "My father lives in Philadelphia and he has been good checking in. But I consider my family to be my teammates and my buddies at school, too. I've got a lot of people who look over me. Reality can be hard. Even with all the support, there are moments when it hits you and you get down. It's natural. As long as I pull myself back up right away, I think I'll be all right. I'm going to get a match. I know it."
Yes, there's a match out there for Jon Casanova and maybe you are the one.
If you are between 18 and 44 want to save a life, visit Bethematch.com.