For Immediate Release August 1, 2018
Contact: Nichole Jefferson, President
Nichole Jefferson, a native of Dallas, Texas, currently resides in West Des Moines, Iowa. 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 not many 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. Additionally, 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.
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. Since joining, Nichole has been elected President of the Board and is eager to collaborate with others in spreading awareness of kidney disease and treatment options. Denise Eilers, outgoing President, says “Nichole advocates for patients who are unable or unwilling to speak for themselves and will be an outstanding president of HDU.”
In addition to serving as the newly elected President of Home Dialyzors United, Nichole volunteers for numerous projects and organizations, such as:
- ASN’s Kidney Health Initiative: Patient and Family Partnership Council
- American Association of Kidney Patients – Field Ambassador
- NKF’s Kidney Advocacy Committee – Region 6 Leader
- National Institute of Health – APOLLO Steering Committee Member
- National Institute of Health – Kidney Precision Medicine Project