Nichole M. Jefferson
Nichole Jefferson, a native of Dallas, TX, currently resides in West Des Moines, IA. When diagnosed with end-stage renal disease in 2003, not only was she unaware of what it meant, she had no idea she was at high-risk for developing kidney disease. Though Nichole experienced both forms of dialysis (HD and PD), she preferred the convenience peritoneal dialysis offered. On June 12, 2008, she received the gift of life, a kidney transplant. Due to the many obstacles she faced following her transplant, Nichole realized that a transplant was simply another form of treatment and not a cure. This realization sparked her quest for knowledge, which later initiated her enthusiasm for advocacy.
While in Dallas, Nichole was involved in the local chapter of the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) and continued volunteering with the organization following her move to West Des Moines in 2011. Nichole’s enthusiasm for advocacy increased even further when she realized that not many people understood the prevalence of kidney disease in the black community. This discovery encouraged Nichole to seek additional knowledge to share with her community and underserved populations. Soon thereafter she began speaking with legislators regarding the need for early detection and other issues relating to chronic kidney disease. In 2015, Nichole was selected to join the NKF Kidney Advocacy Committee, representing the state of Iowa. As a result of her advocacy, she was invited to join the Kidney Health Initiative's Patient and Family Partnership Council in 2016, and then became a Field Ambassador for the American Association of Kidney Patients in 2017. These opportunities allowed Nichole to broaden her advocacy audience to include not only kidney patients but nephrologists, researchers, scientists and other key stakeholders in the renal community.
Being a member of the PFPC has allowed Nichole numerous opportunities to engage in the renal community, enabling her to expand her resources and share her kidney journey with others. As her education of kidney-related matters expanded, Nichole discovered another critical gap – few people she encountered during her journey were aware of home dialysis as a treatment option. In a desire to help spread awareness, she joined the Home Dialyzors United (HDU) Board of Directors in 2017, and was recently elected President of the Board. Nichole is grateful for the PFPC and the commitment to patients.