After a courageous 10 year fight battling Carcinoid Cancer, Sunny Carney, of Plum, passed peacefully on Saturday, November 3. She was married to her devoted husband, Mark; and was a loving mother to Austen, Logan and Nolan; daughter of Patricia Jennings and the late James J. Jennings; daughter-in-law of Dale and Dottie Carney; sister of Judy Phillips (Ray Jr.), Lynn Pesta (Teddy), Michael Jennings (Vicki Lynn), James Jennings (Sue), Joseph Jennings (Elizabeth), Sheila Fortes (Jim); sister-in-law of Craig Carney (Julia). She is also survived by numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews, and was a true friend and inspiration to many.
In addition to being an inspiration to family and friends Sunny inspired carcinoid cancer patients across the globe through her blog, and then her book "The Sunny Side of Cancer. She spoke at numerous cancer events locally sharing stories of her journey which led her from Basel, Switzerland to all of the top Carcinoid Cancer specialists here in the states. She was an advocate for better diagnosis of the disease and for insurance coverage of treatments. She fought with grace and dignity, never letting the pain inside challenge her faith or diminish her love for life.
Memorials may be made to "Carney Family Fund", c/o S&T Bank, 2190 Hulton Road, Verona, PA 15147.
Friends received Monday 7-9 p.m. and Tuesday 3-8 p.m. at Unity Community Church, 215 Unity Center Road, Plum, PA 15239.
Funeral Services will be held on Wednesday at 11 a.m. in Unity Community Church with Rev. Frank Deluce officiating. Arrangements entrusted to CHARLES W. TRENZ FUNERAL HOME, INC.
VIEW GUEST BOOK Published in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

After over a decade of suffering from Carcinoid Cancer, Sunny Jennings Carney has decided to fight back. She has currently undergone two proven treatments in Basel, Switzerland and is planning to return for two more. She is also planning on going to Houston, Texas for a six month period to undergo experimental treatments that look promising but are not FDA approved. She has exhausted all the FDA approved treatments here in the United States and will not accept that this is all there is for her. She has dedicated her fight to help others understand this rare cancer and to find successful treatments in the United States. Her strong faith in God and will to never quit has turned a 6 month life expectancy to over two years presently.

Below is an entry that was written by Sunny's husband Mark when she had her third bout. To become updated on her journey please enjoy her posts.

Please check back for updates and event information.

Sunny Carney Carcinoid Cancer Fund
C/o S & T Bank
2190 Hulton Road
Verona, PA 15147

Sunny's husband Mark tells their story...

A mother of three boys, a daughter, the baby sister to a large family, an aunt, a godmother to several, a trusted friend, an outreach volunteer, a business owner and my wife. Sunny Carney lives up to her name every time someone speaks to her; she is beautiful both in and out. She has been my biggest motivator, my rock and my inspiration in tough times, my biggest fan in good times, and most importantly my best friend. Told 14 years ago that having children may not be part of our future because of ovarian cancer, she kept the faith, and is a wonderful mother to our three sons- Austen, Logan, and Nolan. She is always ensuring that they know the Lord, love of life, kindness to others, hard work, and occasionally when to "shape up".

Her boundless energy, healthy lifestyle and positive attitude are infectious. She has served as president of our children’s PTA, organized committees that benefit those who are less fortunate in the community and led drives for those who have been caught up in unfortunate situations. She has done so much for others, usually without letting anyone ever know, I could not begin to list them. Her strong faith in God and modest upbringing has given her a sense of giving that only she can explain. When she successfully started her own photography business, she also started a non-profit division photographing family portraits for area families fighting cancer. Her friends say she is amazing and she simply shakes her head and wonders what all of the fuss is about.

Her mother, sisters, brothers and large extended family will tell you she is the one you can count on to lend an ear when needed and never judge. She was raised by her loving mother and father who was the warden of the Allegheny County Jail and actually spent most of her childhood in the residence connected to the jail. At a young age she witnessed more of life’s tragedies and obstacles through her neighbors, the prisoners, than most of us can imagine.

Although all of the aforementioned is remarkable it is not what makes her truly special. Sunny is a two time cancer survivor and now is currently fighting for a third time. After beating ovarian carcinoid cancer and undergoing serious surgery for carcinoid tumors in her right lung just three years ago, the carcinoid tumors returned in her lymph nodes, liver and bones. The size and proliferation throughout the liver of these tumors mandates immediate chemotherapy in four treatments over the next few months as well as monthly octreotide treatments. These painful treatments will hopefully stop the growth but are not a cure. There are numerous tumors in her spine, her skull, her hip, her leg, and her shoulder...all in the bones and she will wait on potential radiation to fight those.

What my wife has is Carcinoid Cancer Syndrome, an endocrine disease which is rare and spreads from organ to organ. As of right now the only known treatment for remission is administered by renowned clinics in Europe. However the treatment is not covered by our insurance. Our doctors have encouraged us to start raising money and matching grants could follow. Her lead oncologist strongly believes that Sunny would be a prime candidate to be a voice to get the message out regarding carcinoid cancer syndrome, bring this treatment to the United States and encourage approval from the FDA. Without this treatment, the tumors most likely will continue to metastasize in other organs and her fight will be ongoing. Sunny has set up The Sunny Carney Carcinoid Cancer Fund to support her treatments. She believes that once she beats this cancer she can make a difference to others also suffering from Carcinoid Cancer.

Mark A. Carney

Sunny Carney Carcinoid Cancer Fund
C/o S & T Bank
2190 Hulton Road
Verona, PA 15147

Monday, March 16, 2009

New Moon on Monday

Well its hard to believe but I managed to screw up this blog entry thing once again. Sorry for the confusion , I know a lot of you have been waiting for an update. I somehow managed to delete my earlier entry and in a moment of frustation almost chucked this little laptop into the Rhein river. It is now past dinner time over here, and I just spoke with Sunny for probably the last time today. Today was treatment Monday and I am honestly not quite sure if everything we heard was accurate or positive. She went over this morning at 10:00 and on one hand it was reassuring to know our way around ( no kicking in on closed door meetings or feeling as wandering lost through the Hospittaal like a sassy American woman and her stupid American guide....)but in some ways knowing the pain and nauseau that awaited her was hard enough.

When we got there , nurse Martin was ready to read the menu options....(although the egg quiche thing with plums didnt' go over so well tonight she later confessed) and then Dr Doogie ( whoops I mean Dr. Nicholas) came in and we got the process rolling. They were so efficient in recalling last time she had had excesssive nauseau and they had already ordered the latest superdrug in the war against nauseauous side-effects and would really help. Well lets just say that the superdrug was almost upchucked back onto me when she took it which caused nurse Martin to kid "you have to take it for it to work" and for nurse Pierre to tap-tap-tap nervously in the room behind , as if he would have to clean up her mess.

When she went down to the twilight-zone for the treatment and I had to leave I want to share with you what she told me it was like. Picture an olds James Bond movie where he has to transport some old uranium or a really old GetSmart where 99 has to protect the secret serum and that is what its like. The room is lead lined, the doctor enters a code on the wall and opens a drawer...then another code opens a platinium silver case, and then another one, and then out comes the $20,000 dose or orange radiation in a test tube. Homer Simpson sure would feel at home.

I think she was fine at that point but when Dr. Mueller came in later and told her to expect the same amount of pain and discomfort as last time , that is not what she was hoping to hear. Its been a long day and it has been great to have my friend from Holland here for the next 24 hours...Sunny loved the flowers and the vase that nurse Pierre decontiminated for them. I know that you will all keep in your prayers and we will for you...and if you can remember these three things I know that these are things she has read, she has reflected on, and she lives by. So until I get the opportunity to do this again tomorrow...please keep her in your thoughts and heregoes....

"Let us live with urgency. Let us exploit the opportunity of life. Let us not drift. Let us live intentionally. We must not trifle our lives away."

Raymond Ortlund

"Outlook determines outcome and attitude determines action."

Warren Wiersbe

"I've never seen a monument erected to a pessimist."

Paul Harvey

Until we do this again...thanks for all of your support , thoughts, and prayers.