Asaase Radio’s DJ Ace undergoes successful kidney transplant

The radio presenter has been having dialysis three times a week and waited three years after kidney failure

DJ Ace, the host of Asaase Radio’s Saturday-night Ace Asaase Jam, who is also a disc jockey for the BBC’s Radio 1Xtra, has successfully undergone a kidney transplant after a long search for a match.

In an Instagram post, the African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust (ACLT) – noted for connecting donors to patients – said it was contacted in September 2019 to find a kidney donor for DJ Ace.

“After waiting over three years, on Wednesday 20 October @djace has finally received a kidney transplant and [is] recovering in hospital. We are privileged to have been on this journey with DJ Ace. Rest up and get well soon,” the post read.


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A post shared by ACLT Charity (@acltcharity)

Search for a donor

DJ Ace, known in private life as Ashley Asomani, started his search for an organ donor in 2019.

He told Radio 1’s Newsbeat in an interview in 2019 that although he really wanted “to get a kidney as soon as possible … I just don’t want it to define who I am.“ He would rather people saw him “as Ace the DJ or presenter first”, he said.

For months, he was having dialysis three times a week. Kidney dialysis involves being hooked up to a machine that works like the kidneys to filter your blood.

He even had sessions while working abroad in the United States and Ibiza. DJ Ace said he was “tired of the dialysis sessions”, which lasted for at least four hours each time, because of the toll it took on him.

After 18 months of dialysis, the radio presenter contacted the blood cancer charity ACLT, which also assists with other disorders, to help find him a donor for a transplant.

Tissue type

For an organ transplant to work, you need to find a donor whose physiological make-up matches your organs as closely as possible.

People of the same ethnicity are likely to share similar tissue and blood types – meaning that your body is more likely to accept their organ without complications developing.

DJ Ace was not a registered organ donor himself before he developed his kidney problem. After undergoing treatment for so long, and mostly keeping his condition private, he went public two years ago to create awareness of the illness.

We wish him well.

Nana Abena Boakye-Boateng

On 1 June 2020 #AsaaseRadio launched a drive to raise funds to buy a dialysis machine to donate to a selected institution in Ghana. Keep an eye on our social media handles for news of developments in the #AsaaseKidneyCareCampaign.

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