Monmouth County's Ask the Doctor Winter 2021

Being C-Bunny Never Stop Fighting to Be Heard! By, Pam Teel

Christina Sarni grew up in Millstone Township. Born with hearing loss, school life was not easy for her. It led her to a lot of communication issues with both her teach- ers and her peers. Having to use assistive listening devices with her teachers in order to hear what they were saying, and trying to keep up on peer conversations was very difficult. When she was in the Middle School, Christina often found herself bullied and friend- less. She will truthfully tell you that it is not a part of her life that she likes to remember, but it might have been the push that made her strive even harder to do something with her life regardless of her disability. Christina had dreams, dreams to be someone one day other than the hearing im- paired kid from school. She wanted to prove to the ones who ignored her, and even more to herself that your disability doesn’t define who you are. That’s exactly what she set out to do. With intensive speech therapy and lip reading and her faith in God, Christina moved forward towards her goals. She had her mind set on being some kind of performer and created her alter ego “C-Bunny.” With true grit and determination, she pushed forward to make her dreams come true. She had a love for music and dance, and so she combined the two. She watched many videos, especially the Michael Jackson ones and she taught herself hip hop dancing. She per- formed in front of crowds in places like Six Flags and Hershey Park. She was also a part of the Michael Jackson Tribute at Beatstock 09.

In 2010, she auditioned for Grammy Award Winner T-Pain. Setting her hearing aids aside, she felt the beat of the music, and freestyled. When she finished, the others au- ditioning around her, including T-Pain, applauded her. T-Pain was so touched by her performance that he gave her a spot as a backup dancer. There, she got to be in her first official music video, which was the soundtrack song, “This Instant,” for the movie Step Up 3D. It was quite an experience that she got to perform live with him. She then went on to try out in front of Paula Abdul on a dancing show on Television called “Live to Dance.” C-Bunny embraced 10 million viewers with her dancing and her story. Ms. Abdul told her that she was a totally brilliant example that nothing should ever hold you back. Christina wasn’t done there. She had always been drawn to watching WWE and decided to sign up for professional wrestling school. Christina performed as C-bunny the hip-hop pop-locking elbow dropping hearing impaired wrestler in many shows in different states. She also worked as an extra for the WWE several times. Even though the hits were hard, Christina took them like a champ and pushed on harder. According to her dad, Christina had always been highly motivated and she would never give up on anything. Her family has always been her rock pushing her through. After meeting filmmaker, TomWilton, at one of her trainings, Tom wanted to embrace her story and created a documentary on her life. This documentary “Being C-Bunny” has won several awards including “Most Inspirational” and “Best Short Documentary” in Florida, New York, and it was also accepted into California’s prestigious film festival Cinequest. “Being C-Bunny” is available to the public right now on you tube. The feedback has been amazing and was advocated for by WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley. Christina has turned her focus onto becoming a motivational speaker and teaching others that having a disability doesn’t define who you are. Though Middle School was not the best time for her, Christina is proud to go back to the school and see her accomplishments highlighted in a glass showcase. Christina always wanted to be larger than life; well I would say that she accomplished that! To those students who might have someone in your class with a disability, be nice and kind. People with disabilities are no different than you. They want the same things you do, to have friends, to be included, and to share experiences. “Never stop fighting to be heard.”




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