ELKHART -- An Elkhart mother of three has been sick for years, but this week marks her road to recovery.
Lori Whitmer-Barton has been suffering from kidney problems for the past five years. She's been on dialysis for over a year. This week, all of that could change. She's finally getting a kidney transplant. The donor is her ex-husband and father of two of her children.
"I'm doing this for my kids too, because they need me to be here, they're my life and I love them very very much," Whitmer-Barton said.
Just out of a dialysis treatment on Monday, Whitmer-Barton tried her best to spend some quality time with her three boys. She said she's fighting to stay with them as long as she can.
"When they graduate, high school, when they go to college, when they kids of their own (I want to be there)," she said.
Her children, ages four, eight and 11, all say watching their mom suffer has been a struggle.
"I think it affects all of us in the way that we think about her, it just hurts," her oldest son, Chazwell Whitmer, said.
But her family has been there to help. Her mother has moved into her home and her father helps out any way he can.
"Never thought something like this would happen to us. It was just something that you read about, or seen other people go through, but once you go through it yourself, it really is a rude awakening," Whitmer Barton's father, John Klocek said.
Whitmer-Barton's ex-husband, Paul Barton, didn't want to comment. But told his family that he wasn't donating his kidney for the publicity. He said he was doing it for his family.
The surgery is being done at IU Medical Center in Indianapolis. They leave for Indianapolis on Wednesday. Her surgery is scheduled for Friday morning.