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
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'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
C/o S & T Bank
Thursday, August 6, 2009
I had to post today not for me but for all my friends that are going through some hard times. It seems like the past two weeks I have had so many of my good friends just sad. Not for one particular reason all together but they all seem to be going through something. One friend just had surgery and recovery is slow, one has a broken foot that stubbornly will not heal, one has family issues, one has a dear friend that is ill, one has a child that is ill, one misses a loved one that has past, one husband lost his job, one lost her job, one just found out the she is ill and has to live with this condition forever, one has financial struggles, one just feels horrible and does not know why, a few have all the above and the list continues. After each and every conversation I have with them they ended by saying some form of I can't believe I am burden you with all you have going on. Or I am told that when they start to feel sorry for themselves they think of how positive I am and then they try to snap out of it. Some even ask how I get through each day being so sick and having so many worries. But the one comment that really hits me is that my problems seem so small compared to what you and your family is going through how can I complain.
My answer to that statement is no problem is small if it is something that makes you feel sad or worried. I want my friends to know that I am here for them like they are for me and that I never think of them as being a complainer. I never judge or compare their problems with mine. A person that does that is not a true friend. I am honored that they feel they can come to me and let it all out. I only wish I could help them like they have helped me. I wish I could take their pain away. Please don't feel that because I am going through this journey that I don't feel your pain. That is why I like the saying "If you never jump, you'll never know who is there to catch you". I am here to catch my family and friends if you need to be caught. Please know that my heart aches for each and everyone.
As I don't compare your strife's and struggles with mine, please don't compare the way I handle my situation. I am asked all the time,"how do I get through each day without feeling depressed?". My answer to that is my faith. I will not deny that there are moments and sometimes a day that I am not at my best in positive attitude, but those are the times that many of you don't see. I am determine not to go to the "dark side" with this battle. I know that is what will lead me to a losing battle. However, because I do that and it looks so simple does not mean you are expected to do the same. It's okay to cry, tears lead to rainbows. It's also okay for feel sad or down as long as it does not last to long.
I guess to sum up this post I want all of my family and friends to know that I hurt for you like you hurt for me. But what I have learned through this cancer journey is not to let the hurt take over your life. As I am reminded daily, life is a hour glass where the sand moves quickly. Don't let your sadness take any grain of sand away from you. I believe that dying is not the greatest lost of life but the greatest lost is what dies inside you while you are living. Remember you are not burdening me by coming to me with your problems or worries. I will cry with you, but I will not pity you or let you pity yourself. That is what a true friend does.
Remember to register for the Wiffle Ball fun.