As a high school student, having experiences that shape who you are and truly speak to you are vastly important. For Madison Fielder, a Chesterton High School senior, that experience came during a mission trip over this past summer.
While visiting Guatemala, Fielder and some of her friends found themselves working at an orphanage. One child in particular, Carlita, became attached to Fielder, and the two quickly bonded during her short time visiting. After leaving, Fielder asked about the braces on Carlita’s legs and found that she’d recently had surgery and was only born with one kidney, one they discovered was failing.
“[Carlita] was someone who really stuck out to me on that trip,” Fielder said. “I didn’t expect this great of an impact, but it stuck with me and every time I prayed or went to church it came to mind. I kept wishing there was something I could do.”
Mission trips are not uncommon for Fielder. Before her trip to Guatemala she’d been on three previous trips with the Apostolic Youth Corps. Previous trips travelled to Quebec, Alaska, and Australia, making Guatemala the first third world country she’d visited. The trips have always had a positive impact and provided meaningful experiences for Fielder.
“All those trips show what the people there need,” Fielder said. “They opened my eyes to not just how life is in the US, but Guatemala and other villages. It shows how little some people have.”
Since her return from Guatemala, Fielder has been determined to help Carlita. After much prayer and discussion with her family, they began raising funds to help the orphanage pay for Carlita’s new kidney. Fielder began small fundraisers with her church, created a GoFundMe, and has begun selling her own clothing to raise money.
“I want to reach more of the community around me,” Fielder said. “I’ve been trying to get my class involved in some fundraisers, not just people in my neighborhood or church.”
With the fundraiser taking up much of her time, Fielder is still finding time for other activities. As a senior this year, she’s working toward a diploma and partaking in all the staples of her senior year. She’s also involved in volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club and has begun looking into college possibilities. With a desire to study psychology, she’s eager to find ways to help additional people and continue mission trips in the future.
“I’m hoping to continue these trips as long as I can,” Fielder said. “I just enjoy traveling so I hope that’s in my future. Being able to experience different cultures and getting out of my comfort zone is something I’m looking forward to most.”
Fielder shows a vast amount of motivation and determination to not only achieve great things, but to help others along the way. Through her mission trips or future in psychology, she’s sure to make a positive impact wherever she goes.
To aid her GoFundMe for Carlita, you can donate here: https://www.gofundme.com/carlitas-kidney?member=586742!