A Windsor family talks with CTV News leading up to World Kidney Day, to help people understand the reality of living with the disease.

Emelia Ambrosio spent four and half years on dialysis to help treat her kidney disease. 

“If this is what's going to keep me alive with my family and spend some time with my family I'm gonna go and do it," says Ambrosio.

During a routine checkup, her doctor told her she would be a good candidate for a transplant.

“My daughter Manuela wanted to be donor, and I kept telling her no because I wasn't gonna sacrifice her life for me," says Ambrosio.

Her daughter was a match, but due to her own health issues, she couldn't donate.

But less than a year later, a reprieve

Ambrosio had a kidney transplant in January of 2016. She says it saved her life.

“Most of the patients that I had dialysis with, they came in with me, and they were gone," she says.

For almost 5 years, Sam Ambrosio would take his wife for dialysis treatment, always wondering if she'd ever be able to return to a regular lifestyle.

Although she's still on medication,  Ambrosio says she is back, living a normal life.

The Ambrosio family is speaking publicly about their private struggle, ahead of World Kidney Day on March 9.