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

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


It is no secret to anyone who knows me, especially Mark and the boys, that I love sunrises. Every morning when I am in Vero Beach, FL I awake well before 6 am to guarantee I am at the beach, camera in hand, plopped on my blanket ready for the magnificent site of a new day starting. I start my recruiting the night before to see who will trug along with me. Since my walking as been a bit shaky lately and my leg pain has increased Mark has made me promise to not go to the beach alone when it is still dark. However, I did sneak out one day this week and it was well worth the argument when I got back. There is not a moment more peaceful then sitting on a beach when it is still slightly dark waiting for one of the most amazing sites that God has given us. It's as if you are in your on world and He is given you your own personal performance. To say the least it is one of those breath taking moments that I have talked about.

Today's sunrise like everyday's was amazing. After trying hard to wake anyone to come along and getting several roll overs and no answers I almost gave up and went back to bed. Then as I was putting away my favorite hoodie my thirteen year old come yawning down the steps. He rubbed his eyes and said, "Mom can I have a turn to go with you?". Austen has never volunteered nor ever wanted to get up at 5:30 in morning to go sit on the beach with his mother. I was in complete shock but pleasantly surprised when he asked. Of course I took him up on it. I explained to him that it takes about 35 minutes for the sun to completely hit the sky and that I like to watch the whole thing. He said he understood and still wanted to come. So I wasn't going to push it anymore and rushed him out the door.

As we sat on the beach in the dark waiting for a glimpse of color Austen asked me why I enjoy this. I really did not know how to answer his question without him thinking I was being nerdy or just emotional Mom. As things go, lately everything I do or say to him is "just not cool". So I tried to explain it in his terms. I explained to him that seeing a sunrise reminds me that no matter how hard the day before was a new day is coming. The sun will always rise again no matter how many problems or battles you have. I basically told him that there is always a new day to look forward to and watching the sun greet the day reminds me of that. There is no better way to see faith and hope then in a sunrise. He shook his head so I think he was getting what I was saying.

As we sat on the blanket we talked about all kinds of things. Almost like what we use to do a few years ago. We just caught up with each other. I knew that God had a hand in him waking up today. We really needed this reconnection. The sun slowly started pushing it's way up over the ocean. Austen then looked at the sky and saw all the amazing colors. All he could say was, "Wow". I started snapping my shots and he asked if he could take a few. I set the camera and handed it off to him. He just started snapping like me.....but differently. He really enjoyed himself. Logan and especially Nolan have been my sunrise buddies several times. Each one enjoying the morning differently. Now Austen can be added to the list.

Right before the sun made it's final destination to the sky Austen mumbled behind the camera lens, "Mom, I see why you do this every morning. This is so deep". He handed me the camera and sat down on the blanket to see the last few minutes of the amazing colored sky. I did not say a word because I wanted him to feel the peace that I feel when I am alone and in the zone. After the colors where gone we both got up and started to walk. He could tell I was in some pain so he grab my arm. As we walked up the beach to the walkway a morning jogger passed us. I made a comment about how that use to be me a year ago and how I miss being able to do that. He then said, "but you did not notice the sunrise you do now Mom". I felt like kicking myself. I just got finish showing him one of God's miracles and I sounded as if I lost faith. He then added, "Mom you are so tough. Don't worry about that stupid stuff." I then realized he sounds like me.

Just another moment that shows "The Good In Cancer".