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

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Dr. Richard Raizman

It seems like in the recent few weeks I have been bombed with news of my fellow Carcinoid posse passing. Today I received the news that the doctor who got me to Switzerland has passed from Carcinoid Cancer. He was passionate about finding a cure and bringing the Y90 treatment to the United States. He was in the process of getting a Carcinoid Cancer Center started here in Pittsburgh which he was funding himself. I have emailed or called him multiple times for just some words of advise. No longer then an hour would it take him to get back to me with his words of wisdom spoke at my level. He has made a difference in mine and many patients care. He was a humble man. I did not realize what he has done not just for the very disease he suffered with but for all cancers until I read about him below. When I met with him for the first time last summer he was so positive and he was suffering just like me. I remember him telling me, "you have to do whatever it takes to stay alive for your boys. The longer you hold on the closer you will get to a cure." "I will never give up", he forcefully told me. He fought to the very end. Please read about him below:

Dr. Richard E. Raizman, of Ligonier, passed away early Tuesday morning, Sept. 22, 2009, after a long and valiant battle with cancer. Dr. Raizman, a gastroenterologist, loved his work and his patients. He loved his family, his daughter, Dr. Emma J. Raizman; his son, Dr. Noah M. Raizman and his wife of 42 years, Dorothy L. Raizman, all of whom were with him at home when he died. Many knew he was never still, always looking for new challenges. He traveled to Bhutan to trek and to India to volunteer his medical knowledge to treat Tibetan refugees in Daram Sala, forming a deep friendship with Dr. Setan Sadutchan, the Dalai Llama's personal physician. On one of his many trips there, he took his children to work with these wonderful people. A graduate of Columbia University and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, he felt strongly that a good life was made better by sharing. He established a scholarship at the medical school, as well as funding a vaccine research laboratory. On his death from neuroendocrine cancer he completes the funding of a neuroendocrine cancer research center that he hoped would help others fight the disease that took his life. He was a member of the Board of Friends of the University of Pittsburgh Medical School, an honor he cherished, as well as being a clinical professor of medicine who taught surgical residents the art of endoscopy. He was an innovator. Along with his friend, Dr. Frank Costa, he developed one of the first out-patient surgical centers in Western Pennsylvania. He was both a polo player and fox hunter. As captain of the Ligonier polo team he created "Polo for the Cure", which over the last 17 years generated more than one million dollars for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Western Pennsylvania. He was named a Master of Foxhounds of the Rolling Rock Hunt, where he had been a member since 1983. He rode to the hunt with his friends, Fritz Teroerde, Dr. John Frazier and Wil Burkland. He is survived by his wife and children as well as his beloved brother, David Seth Raizman, PhD., Head of the Art History Department at Drexel University.