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
Monday, June 28, 2010
Although I have been trying extremely hard to ignore the signs God has truly been knocking on my inspiration door, He makes it impossible and once again reminds me I cannot do this journey alone. In the past few weeks I have had the most unusual inspiring people reach out to me. Without going into all the details I have been approached in the most unusual places, have had emails written to me and even have gotten a few phone calls from others that have inspired me to keep going with my battle but mostly keep updating and writing my blog. So tonight that is what I am going to do. I am going to update everyone on my battle, continue to get the word out about this rare cancer and try to help others know that they are not alone in whatever battle they are going through.
Tomorrow I will be under going another PET scan. I am not due for my regular scheduled progress scan for another month and 1/2 but I have had some unusual changes in my conditions so my oncologist decided to up that time to see what's going on. Yesterday a friend of my asked me if I was nervous about the scan or the results. When I told her that I really don't think about scans or results anymore she was completely surprised. Later that day when I was driving home from my hour and half ride from my Austen's baseball game my mind went back to my conversation with my girlfriend. I began to think that maybe its not normal for me not to have anxiety about my scans, my results or even my cancer. I questioned my honesty to others and myself and wondered if deep down am I just trying to pretend that I am NOT worried. After thinking hard and almost forcing myself to feel some type of solicitude I was quite sure I am not worried about any of it.
Not being afraid of my cancer, my scan tomorrow or the results of the scan does not mean I don't care about my battle. Trust me I care more then I care about anything, because this disease effects everyone I love.....not just me. However, I truly have in the Lord's peace. I am not saying that this peace I am feeling means that I believe that tomorrow scans are going to show no growth or even no cancer. Nor do I believe that I am going to be miraculously cured by one splash of blessed holy water or the hands of some Evangelist that claims to have the power of healing. However, I do strongly believe that if that is what God wants that to happen then it will. My peace is that God will not leave me and what the outcome may be my faith will get me through. I know that through the power of pray and with a true open heart to the Holy Spirit I can get through whatever the results bring. Now, am I hoping for the best? HELL YA, but I have true have peace.
I have seen first hand some amazing things happening because of my journey. I have seen great change in my life and in my families life. As I stated several times in my blog if I could have one wish it would be to take this cancer away from me. However, the past two years of my battle have been the most meaningful and life changing experience for all those I love I would never give them back. They have taught me what having true faith in God and giving all my adversity to him feels like. That is where my peace comes from.
So tomorrow when I lay in that tube for a few hours with an IV in my arm I am going to spend that time in peace and thanking God for that peace.