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

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Selection Sunday

Well I know back home today is Selection Sunday-a day in which college basketball fans across America find out if and where their favorite college teams will be playing in the big dance known as March Madness. Over here in Basel suprisingly not much attention being paid to the whole concept-Selection Sunday instead will be letting Sunny choose what museum she wants to go off to and then me trying to keep up with her as she dashes off. After a rather painful evening(especially at dinner...where a hair in your salad is a hair in your salad no matter what country you are in...and "Couch potato's" isn't a stuffed baked potato but more like globs of cheese and ham in a dish of whipped potato's)left her feeling hungry, nauseous, and a bit cranky (before I even started to snore) she is up and about today and we are soon off on the number two train for Basel's Modern Art museum and to sneek a peek at a Picasso or two....etc....

I am glad she is in better spirits today because yesterday was hard for her. Back seemed like nothing would ease her pain. We are back at our favorite Swiss Hilton, with the main difference being this time we were able to upgrade to the Executive Floor, which actually has smaller rooms, but a great lounge down the hall with complimentary food and beverages. (I think it might have been Sunny's way of keeping me close by when the need for a Jim Beam and Coke Light called). There is actually one less chanel now for us to watch on the tele....they took off our beloved Vintage American movie channel which was kind enough to run the Eastwood/Eddie Murphy marathon last trip....oh least we still have Judge Judy and Rickie Lake to passby the evenings with.

As I sit in front of the open window and write this(it is a beautiful 60 degrees fahrenheit) I can hear the sirens of a Swiss police car wailing off in the distance like an old Bond movie and with the rustling of the trains going by I am thankful that we have the opportunity to be here again to help Sunny continue her treatments against the Carcinoid Disease. Although we are both more comfortable this time here, I know we both miss being home a hell of a lot of more as well. Maybe its because we have "been there...done that" or maybe its because we know how tough our kids are trying to be back home but this will be an even longer week than last...and I can't tell you how much I am looking forward to just getting back. Austen's hoop team lost a tough game yesterday and it hurt knowing he felt bad because I wasn't there to help coach....Logan has two soccer games this weekend and I hope he continues to do well...and Nolan...well I want to thank Nolan and one of his teacher's Janet DeMarco for a special project that Nolan came up with where he handwrote a letter for Sunny to open each day of our trip here...its only Sunday but it has really touched her.

I will have to jump back on this again later today because she is impatiently standing next to ready...arms folded...ready to go and tackle the museum...

Keep us in your prayers as you are in ours...and until later....Danka Shane(or something like that)