An international student from Malaysia is trying to raise thousands of dollars to replace his failing prosthetic leg while living in Ottawa.

Selvan Mohan, 24, was born without a right tibia, kneecap and ankle. His prosthesis lets him run, hike and cycle, but it's wearing down and needs to be replaced.

Selvan Mohan prosthetic leg money raise Ottawa student Aug 27 2014

Mohan was born without a right tibia, knee and ankle. His current prosthesis is breaking down. (CBC)

"There's a lot of parts that are failing, and then the mechanism of helping the leg to give a good flow is not working anymore. So I'm putting a lot of effort to make sure my leg is not going to fail when I'm walking," he said.

"It's not like a car, if it breaks down you can get a tow. If it breaks down, I'm not able to walk."

Mohan is a PhD student in chemistry but he doesn't qualify for student medical insurance and does not have OHIP.

A replacement prosthesis costs about $22,000. A program at The Ottawa Hospital will cover about $10,000, but Mohan still needs more than $11,000.

On Monday night he posted a video on the crowdfunding website, YouCaring.com, and so far it has helped raise about $800.

Mohan said he's touched by the response from people so far and he hopes he'll have a new leg by the end of the year.