Fighting Lupus With Ingrid

My younger sister, Ingrid Banegas, lives in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Ingrid is just one year younger than I am and we were very close as sisters growing up together. Even though I am now a U.S. citizen and live in the U.S. (St. Paul, MN) and she lives in Honduras, our close bond continues. I always admired Ingrid. She was outspoken, intelligent and a fun to be with kind of person. As a teenager, she became a young leader in our neighborhood church.  She directed the church choir for a few years and started a vocal trio of women.  When Ingrid was 15 years old, she became a mother. With her family’s support and Ingrid’s perseverance, Ingrid has successfully raised a beautiful daughter who is now  a college graduate.


At the age of 25, Ingrid was diagnosed with lupus. After months of treatment with multiple drugs, including chemotherapy, she was in remission for approximately 10 years.  During Ingrid’s remission, she returned to school and obtained her law degree in order to have a professional career that would allow her to support herself and her daughter. Ingrid is a hard-working and determined woman who has done everything she can do to provide for herself and her family.   Unfortunately, in December, 2016 her symptoms returned in a more severe form.  She now requires kidney hemodialysis 3 times a week, blood transfusions every 2 months and chemotherapy for 3 days each month.  

When Ingrid was in remission, she hoped that she would be a candidate for a kidney transplant.  However, with the return of her symptoms, she is not a good candidate for a transplant at this time. With her intensive schedule of treatments and her declining energy, Ingrid can no longer work. In addition to the lupus, she was also diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2014, which, of course, requires more medication and careful monitoring. The diabetes also further complicates the care required for lupus.

Overwhelming Medical Expenses

The cost of the treatments, including medications, and the loss of Ingrid’s ability to work have caused an enormous financial strain. My mother, who lives in Miami, does her best to help Ingrid financially. Family and friends in Honduras and the U.S. have also provided some assistance. The healthcare system in Honduras provides for some of Ingrid’s  care.  However, the combination of these sources of support does not cover her medication and her cost of living expenses. Because Ingrid is unable to work, she must rely on family and friends to cover her financial needs. There is no such thing as a “welfare safety net” in Honduras.

Ingrid Needs Your Help

At this time, Ingrid is in need of funds to help cover the cost of her medications and living expenses. When the hospital in Honduras has adequate supplies of the medication Ingrid requires for dialysis, the medications are provided free of charge.  However, given that Ingrid cannot count on the availability of her medications, she must be prepared to pay over $1000 for her medications.  Ingrid has had to pay out of pocket for her medications several times. With dialysis scheduled three times per week, Ingrid needs to have adequate funds set aside so that she is ready to pay for her medications if necessary. Ingrid also needs a second arteriovenous fistula procedure that would allow easier access to her veins and arteries for dialysis. The current access site in her chest is no longer working satisfactorily. The cost of the procedure is over $1000. In addition, Ingrid needs assistance with living expenses.  Although she is careful with her money, her loss of income has meant that she needs to rely on others to help with basic day to day food costs and other living expenses. Any assistance you can provide is greatly appreciated by Ingrid and her family.

  • Elizabeth & Michael Brewer 
    • $100 
    • 64 mos
  • Peggy Thompson 
    • $50 
    • 64 mos
  • Rachel Robertson 
    • $100 
    • 64 mos
  • Ari Meltzer 
    • $700 
    • 64 mos
  • Catherine Juve 
    • $50 
    • 64 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Iztchel Skovholt 
St. Paul, MN
Ligia Sevilla 

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