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, December 9, 2010


Tomorrow is a big surgery day for me.  The cancer in my right leg and hip has eaten away at the femur and hip bone so the surgery will make those bones stronger and hopefully relieve the intense pain I am always in.  It will also keep those bone, which are very brittle, from cracking.  I was told a year ago that this surgery was necessary then by the grace of God the bone started to look a bit stronger.  However, that progress did not last and the pain has gotten so much worse and there is no time to wait.

I have to share a little story with you which I am hoping by posting this story I will get some peace about tomorrow.  You know how you wish you God would sometimes just smack you right on the head to tell you exactly which way to go?  The question that I am sure many of you ask, "what is God's will?" is simple to ask but the answers don't always seem to be simple to find.  Well, last week I went to my regular Oncologist to get a check before the surgery.  I had noticed a few days before that the pain in my hip and leg was much better.  In fact there was a few times that I could take two steps at a time and sit like an Indian with no pain.  So of course I insist that my doc give me another scan or x-ray just to make sure that the bones had not improved before I go through this surgery.  As much as I love Dr. Friedland I have to say sometimes I have to give a little kick in the butt.  After much convincing from me he did a quick x-ray.  Later he come into the room were I waited and showed me that it actually has gotten worse.  So I left a little heartbroken, stop in the bathroom to shed a few tears, and went home.

However, that evening I still felt uneasy about the whole surgery. At times I can be so stubborn when I think I am right.  I could not sleep and kept thinking of way to to get out of this surgery.  I then closed my eyes and just prayed.  I prayed with such passion that God show me a sign, a sign I would noticed, that I am make the right decision about this surgery.  I finally fell asleep only to wake up a few hours latter to horrific pain in my leg in hip.  The pain was beyond anything I had every had.  It was breathing taking.  I screamed and Mark jumped out of bed next to me to try to help. Nothing he did and nothing I took helped.  For the first time in my life I got God's sign as clear as I needed.

I am not sure why I was doubting this surgery.  I hate to think it was fear.  Whatever, it is I surely should of seen what He was telling me all along.  The othro oncologist is amazing.  Several of my friends have heard of him and rave about him.  He even saved the leg of my good friend's daughter when she was suffering from a rare cancer.  Once again the out pour of help with the kids I am offered is amazing.  My family all pitch in to arrange schedule of when they will be staying with me.  The Christmas shopping is done, the house is clean and the decorations are beautiful.  Mark is at complete peace. And the pain is still there. The phone calls from friends and family today has been super uplifting. Not to mention my full email box of prays and the facebook wishes are bringing tears to my eyes.   Everything has been going so smoothly.

So there is no reason for me to have anxiety or fear.  Fear of the unknown or what is come is a waste of time.  I know that God has me at his side. Please pray for me in the next couple of weeks. 

“Each time we face our fear, we gain strength, courage, and confidence in the doing.”