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.
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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
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
The Blessing I am receiving
I have to say I have been on an absolute kite since then. I feel like when people talk about my book they are talking about someone else......it can't be me. I have had three book signing and I am schedule for four more in the next month. I even turned a few down because the timing with my boys schedules don't mesh. The reaction I have had has been so humbling. I have met they most amazing people in the last few weeks and heard so many heroic cancer battles. This is the pick me up that I really needed. God knows just when to throw me a bone to show me life is worth fighting for.
On Saturday and Sunday, October 29th and October 30th, I was asked to speak at Unity Community Church, where I am a member, during service and then do a book signing. I have to say those two days changed my life. The togetherness and spiritual uplift in the service, especially Sunday's 11 service, was indescribable. I could feel the love all through me. Although, I was there to tell my story and how I chose to turn my battle over to God I was the one that was touched again. I can not tell you the out pour of love I got those two days and continue to get everyday. Then when my good friend and cancer prayer warrior Roza Kline sang our song, well Martina's song, "I'm going to love your through it" there was not a dry eye in our packed church. I just feel so special and I don't deserve all this attention. I have to give all the glory to God. I am not a writer by training and never set out to write a book.....it all just happen. I am not sure how it all came about but I have to express that God was holding my hand through every click of the keyboard.
The sales have been great, but the words and kindness towards the book is the most wonderful thing ever. I am not boosting in any way I just want to express what the words of encouragement and kindness regarding my heart on paper has done for me. I love all of you for pumping me up and for loving my story. Below is some of the feedback I have gotten (I excluded all names for privacy reasons):
thanks for writing this book. I started reading it today on my lunch break but had to close it up because the tears started flowing and my makeup was running down my face. So on the way home while sitting on the "T" I put my sunglasses on and continued. I can't put it down. Just so moving and touching. It's really changing my outlook on all my problems.
Finished you book in 2 days. WOW!!!! I never knew.
I wanted to let you know that I read your book and it was amazing, as are you. You are truly an inspiration to many, whether you know it of not. Your children and your husband are blessed to have you.
My mom also ordered it and is making my Dad read it. He was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer at the base of his tongue. He finished the treatments and his first PET scan was good. Second one was not good but they think it was just ulcers. He still feels crappy but the tests are good. He has been feeling down lately so she wanted him to get some perspective and we are hoping your book will help.
Keep fighting the good fight, you have so many people praying for you and pulling for you.
My name is xxxxx and I have met you twice through amutual good friend of ours, xxxx. xxxx actually bought me a copy of your book and dropped it off to me last Saturday. I have known through the years the different fundraisers that were done on your behalf and Iknew your story through xxxx and xxxx, or should I say, I thought I knew your story.
I picked up your book on Saturday at 3:30 and didn’t put it down until midnight (except to eat dinner). Your book…………..I can’t even find the words to describe what I want to say. I can only tell you how I felt while reading your book, it made me feel like I want to be a better person and appreciate every moment I have here on earth. I want to spend every second enjoying life without complaining about work, finances,and the little things that I can’t even remember. As I was reading yourbook, I would text xxxx different pages and your message for that blog or a quote that you had and it was just like I couldn’t get enough.
I don’t know how to describe you, I was trying to explain you and your story to a few people and I couldn’t put into words,the best I could come up with is that you were sent here as one of God’sspecial Angels to spread your infectious love and message of strength and happiness. You are truly such a special and brave person.
Your book sends a message of how to live and enjoy life andyour blogs and your message is relatable for everyday life and everyday problems. I know that writing your blog was therapeutic to you but inturn, your book is therapy for everyone who reads it. Now that I havefinished your book, I will go ahead and study it again and make sure that I “dog-ear”certain pages and highlight certain quotes and messages.
My family and I also spent a great part of my kids childhood vacationing in Vero Beach and driving there every year together and when you were talking about your drives to/from Florida, I could totally relate to so many of the things you wrote about. I, too, always loved those long road trips because it was a great bonding time for our family….20 hours togetherand no one could leave the room, we had to be together talking, listening tothe same music and looking at nature’s beauty as we drove.
Sunny, you are truly an inspiration and you have inspired me to be a better person and love my life and those in it. I am so thankfulthat Lisa thought of me and bought me a copy of your book. I will beforever grateful to her for that.
Thank you for teaching me about life and also making me appreciate everything. I will keep you and your family in my prayers and I will make sure to get involved with your fundraisers, I’ll make surethat xxxx keeps me posted.
Got you book in the mail today and read the first five chapters before bed. I am so moved. Can't wait to read more tomorrow.
Just finished your book. As a carcinoid fighter thank you!!! You put the whole battle in perspective. I can't give up.
I just finished my last round of chemo today!!!! I feel like giving up but if you can do it then I can do it. Thanks and hugs.
Once again I am not writing this to be boastful in any way at all. In fact I am quite humbled. I just want to let all those that reached out to me that it means so much to me. Thank you for being with me through this fight and loving me through it.