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Raising money for a local charity while competing in the Calgary Ironman

Hassan Hatoum is participating in his first Ironman competition July 31st and looking to raise $8,100 for children around the world who have lost their limbs as a result of war, diseases, infections, or birth disorders.

"It has everything to do with movement and health and the body," said the 24-year-old Hatoum. "Which are all interests of mine and I thought it would be perfect to do a big race and dedication towards that initiative."

He partnered with university friend Mary Mohamad who recently started a charity called Happyness Ave. Her mission statement is to provide underprivileged and vulnerable children with the resources, opportunities, and environments that the average North American child has, in order to cultivate a healthy future generation and encourage optimal cognitive and psychological development.

Happyness Ave teamed up with the Victoria Hand Project, a Canadian charity with a mission to provide prosthetic arms to amputees in-need, worldwide.

"And everything is tested, they designed them themselves using 3D printing technology," she said. "So it's really cool, it's very innovating, of course our organization also loves innovation and creating new things that are going to improve our society so right when we saw that, we want to go on board right away."

Hatoum said $8,000 translates into 20 prosthetic limbs. He's been training extensively for the past six weeks for the Ironman.

"It's a 1.9 kilometre swim, which is about 80 to 100 laps of a regular length pool," he said. "Then a 90 kilometre bike ride and then a 21 kilometer run, which is a half marathon, in that order."

Mohamad said what Hatoum is doing s inspiring and good deeds like his are contagious in the community.

"Just put yourself out there, help your neighbor, help anybody you see," she said. "Be kind and be gentle to everyone you're interacting with because you never know who's having a rough day or who needs a little help."

Learn more about Hatoum's Ironman fundraiser here: Top Stories

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