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

Saturday, September 24, 2011

old post

So I was reading through some old post for a surprise I have coming.....can't tell you.  I'll let the hat out of the bag soon. 

Anyways I saw this one and I wanted to repost it because it brought tears to my eyes.  I completely forgot about this day. 

March 23, 2010


Sunday was such a glorious day here in Pittsburgh. Of course that means the boys and a large group of their friends will spend most of the day outside. After spending a few hours at a photo shoot I came home to an empty house with the remains of several messy boys left behind. Drink glasses half full, about a dozen of Popsicles wrappers and sticks scatter about the kitchen counter and an empty fridge that was full before I left that morning was proof that they still lived there but only entered the house to refuel theirs and their buddies’ bellies. I rushed home because I expected to be greeted by my four favorite boys waiting for me to do something fun with them. I quickly realized that they are now teenagers and they did not even realize I was gone for hours.

As I was cleaning up the mess in the kitchen and feeling very used, I heard my cell phone buzzing that a text just came through. Needing an excuse to not continue I grab my phone to check out what it said. I looked down to see Fav yung son on the name of who the text was sent. That stands for "my favorite youngest son" which is what I jokingly call him at times. I open the text only to see it was a picture of a daffodil from my Nolan and text written above the picture that said, "with the gang and saw this in someone's yard and thought of you. I cannot pick it because I don't want anyone to think I'm weird. I hope you like to just look at it.” I must say my heart insistently melted.

I have to wonder if cancer has made Nolan as thoughtful as he was on Sunday. Has our journey softened my boys? Or would they have become this sensitive and loving even if we had a normal life? I truly believe they have become who they are because of our situation. Believe me when I tell you this surprise does not happen often, but they seem to come at such perfect times. I hate cancer and I hate what it does to others and families. I believe that cancer is somehow a form of the devil. But I also know that we have become different people for the better because of being struck with this daemon.

About an hour after receiving the text, the door flew open and in come a group of about twelve boys ranging from the ages of 11 to 15 to hit our basement to watch the NCAA march madness with Mark. I cringed because I knew this meant mess number two and bad odors entering my freshly cleaned house. I handed each one a bottle of water and warned Mark they were entering the "man cave.” At the end of the stampede was Nolan holding that beautiful daffodil he texted me a picture of. Once again I felt my heart melting like candle wax. He handed me the flower and told me to hurry and put it water because he picked it right after he texted me. He claimed that Austen and Logan told him to. I gave him a huge hug and just held him. He then pulled away when he heard someone yelling for him to hurry up because Pitt was on. As he ran downstairs to join the rest of "THE GANG" he turned to me and demanded, "chips mom.” Once again I knew that despite my cancer I have a truly perfect life.