We were delighted to catch up recently with Angie Benhaffaf, mother of twins Hassan and Hussein, to congratulate her on their recent success at the Disabled Sports England Junior Championship in Coventry, winning a total of six medals including a gold for Ireland.
Angie spoke of the poignancy of the date as it marked 13yrs since she had found out the boys were conjoined.
Hassan and Hussein were born joined at the chest to the pelvis – sharing a liver, gut, and bladder. The two have fought through everything that came their way – including a tough fourteen-hour operation to separate them in April 2010 at Great Ormond Street hospital in London.
The surgery left the boys with only a leg each but has allowed them to lead very independent lives and fulfil their dreams of athletics.
The twins impressive medal haul was their first time competing outside of Ireland, and they’re showing no signs of slowing down.
Hassan and Hussein, members of the IWA Sports club, Rebel Wheelers in Cork have been sports mad since they were 5yrs old and they have now set their sights on the Paralympics.
“The boys are determined to get into track racing though – they are currently doing really well in the javelin, shot put, and discus. But the boys are just so determined to make sure they get into track racing. It will be a great challenge but they can do it, they are focused, and serious about it”, says Angie.
In 2018, Lord’s Taverners Ireland presented the boys with two handcycles and as we go to print they are also preparing to compete in IRONKIDS 2022, taking place in Cork, using these very same handcycles.
We wish them every success!