Dubai: Five years ago Dareen Barbar sought a change. Out of shape while recovering from a broken hip, the Lebanese mum-of-two took things into her own hands and decided she wanted to live life on her terms.

Barbar was 15 when she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of bone cancer that led to her left leg being amputated above the knee. Shattered and depressed, Barbar fought a lonely battle for an identity till fate intervened a second time and she met with an accident that gave her a broken hip.

The challenge of her recovery inspired her to begin training as an athlete, and that is when life took a completely different turn. Today, Barbar — who commenced with a serious training regimen since July — will lead Team Jalila at next month’s Dubai Women’s Triathlon.

“I see my purpose in life as I try to touch the lives of others while inspiring them,” Barbar told Gulf News.

“No one should give up on life and living, and at this stage of my life I believe that I should be a part of this [Dubai Women’s Triathlon] simply because I can,” she added.