Nicole Cheslock

  • Microsite Donor Mentor
  • Living Kidney Donor

Without hesitation and with superb caregiving from her sister, Nicole donated a kidney to her dad on his 77th birthday in June 2022. As her mom says, the gift gave them back their lives.

Nicole’s parents had abruptly settled into a routine driven by meal planning and dialysis after being shocked to learn of her dad’s kidney failure in February 2020. At the time, her dad was adamantly opposed to accepting a live kidney. Six weeks into dialysis, he began experiencing severe back pain. His quality of life plummeted. After two years on dialysis, plagued with debilitating pain, overcome with fatigue and appearing to shrink before his wife’s eyes, Nicole’s dad warmed to the idea of live donation when he met with a new transplant team.

Nicole began the donor evaluation process from 2,900 miles away and has witnessed her dad’s life transform after recuperating from the transplant surgery – now he swims every morning, invites friends over for homemade pizza and chicken in the woodburning oven, and is back to pursuing his passions. Her mom has the man she’s known since high school back and they can socialize and make plans again. Both Nicole and her dad are leading active lives.

Throughout the evaluation and following recuperation, Nicole welcomed hearing from mentor Jon Sullenberger. When Jon approached Nicole about joining the National Kidney Registry, she jumped at the opportunity to play a role in the amazing positive ripple effect that live kidney donations have on individuals and families.

Nicole began her career in New York City where she worked at an advertising agency and Morgan Stanley in the 1990s. She credits her early career experiences to learning communication and project management skills in a fast-paced environment that laid the foundation for her future work with community-based organizations, colleges and museums.

She earned a master’s degree from Stanford Graduate School of Education and then collaborated with others to evaluate environmental education programs and document meaningful results. Nicole served as Director of Education and Outreach for the Tahoe Maritime Museum and connected Sierra College faculty and students to resources for more than a decade. Prior to joining National Kidney Registry, Nicole was employed at her son’s elementary school where she absolutely loved working with kindergarten through fourth grade students and teachers.

Nicole lives in the North Lake Tahoe area with her adventurous son. They enjoy hiking, skiing, exploring, reading and visiting family and friends in Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts and New York.

Thrilled to be part of a team based in her hometown, Nicole is eager to contribute to encouraging the best possible outcomes for donors and recipients. She believes a good decision is one that feels right and makes sense.