To celebrate her 50th birthday on 30th September 2020, Cynthia McLarty chose to commemorate this milestone by running 50km to raise funds for the Bionics Institute's Infant Hearing research program.

Cynthia is a long-time supporter of the Bionics Institute and has often volunteered her time as an ambassador. Cynthia's son Sam was born profoundly deaf and at fourteen months of age was one of the youngest children in Victoria to receive a cochlear implant.  

Sam caught up with other kids and was speaking normally by the age of four with the help of his cochlear implant. We tell other parents that we don’t regret it – it was the best thing for Sam. We are so grateful to the Bionics Institute for enabling Sam to talk and live a full, normal life.

Cynthia’s original goal was to run from her home all the way to Mornington. However, due to the COVID-19 stage 4 restrictions in Melbourne, Cynthia ran the whole distance over two days, in a circuit that kept her within 5km of her home.

This is an incredible effort from Cynthia, and all of us at the Bionics Institute are very grateful. 

“We are incredibly fortunate to have Cynthia as an ambassador and supporter. We are humbled by her commitment to raise funds for our infant hearing research program. The funds Cynthia has raised will assist us in the development of our new clinical system, EarGenie™, designed to ensure a future in which all hearing impaired infants will maximise their opportunity for normal language and brain development.” - Professor Colette McKay, Infant Hearing Program Leader