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

Friday, April 30, 2010


It's been a while and so much has been happening. I have been fighting with all I have in my cancer life and crazy busy with my non cancer life. First my cancer life, as I like to compartmintize it, is still here. I am still taking Afinator or secret golden pill because of the price. I am told that it is keeping my liver mets stable which is truly a blessing. I had some new tumors pop up in new organs but they are on the smaller end of things so we are going watch them and in two weeks rescan. If they have grown we will make the decision of surgery or radiation. The bone tumors have been the most annoying. The have increased in size and have been causing pain. I am trying hard to not let that pain interfere with my life. I absolutely hate the way I feel when I take the pain meds but would tolerated it if any pain meds worked. But they don't so I have found other options. Mediation and pray puts me at peace. Once I have peace I am able to refocus on other things besides the pain. Accepting the pain as a way of living is the first thing in dealing with the pain.

Also I am in Florida now for my follow-up with the Tampa Moffit Cancer Center as well as another dose of that new experimental chemo. Then I will be heading over to the east coast to spend the week with my mother, Mark and the boys. I absolutely love every minute I spend in little old Vero Beach, Fl. I have been to The Keys, Bahama's, Mexico, Jamaica and even Hawaii and have seen some of the most amazing beaches ever but nothing compares to the peace and relaxation I get in Vero. Its such a wonderful place to recovery from treatments and just spend time with my family.

In order to forget about the pain I started a new venture. I guess I should say I rekindled an old venture. I started up my photography studio business again above an amazing art studio, Le Bella's Art Studio. Opening the studio is by no means something that a thought I could ever do again or something that my husband ever wanted me to do again. But once again God puts people in your life and situations to overcome that truly can change you. My cancer has brought me and the owner of Le Bella's Art Studio, Debbie, together. Several years ago her infant daughter was diagnosed with another rare form of cancer. Debbie lives in our community so when she hard about my relapse she reached out to me. After a year of friendship she convinced me to keep my business going and encouraged me to reopen my studio in her building. It sounded great but I truly was not sure I could expand my business while putting my family and cancer first. I know that when I invest in my passion I invest 100% which was great before I got sick but not good when you are fighting for your life. I kept the idea in the back of my mind and once in a while entertained it. Then after months of Debbie working me another friend of my, April, approached me about her passion in photography and wanted to work in the industry. One thing lead to another and back to studio shooting I went. With so much support to back me up I am able to do what I love and still have time for those I love.

With all that is going on I am always able to remember how truly blessed I am. I look back to the day that I was told of my relapse and how far I have come. I have accepted my cancer but not accepted my fate with it. Mostly I know that I have so much support and will never be alone in this battle. Thank you.