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
Thursday, November 8, 2012
You don't need to worry about the boys thinking you were a terrible mom though. They pulled on your strength today to each speak in tribute to you and I know you were there and telling Moses or Abraham..."those r my boys....now what....". You saw how this morning was so hard for them...I think we all hoped that maybe if we went in slo-mo and missed it it wouldn't happen. We got there and it was great to see your face again but still so weird not to hear your voice. I miss so much recapping things like today with you like always...and trading stories on who we caught up with etc. Weddings, funerals, fundraisers, these were the nights we hung out before crashing.
It was no use for Chuck to hold the doors because I think the first come first serve seating arrangement had everyone there early. I told Pastor Frank it was going to b a Christmas size crowd. One thing I kind of wonder is did your family get enough time to say goodbye. There was so much love from the community this whole week. What did you think of Roz? Unbelievable and best one yet. She is so strong but she joked beforehand you were behind her propping her up. The boys blew me away. They were so strong for you that any doubts you had of how they would miss you had to e gone by the time Austen was two sentences in. He fought through the emotions and then turned to Logan but how about that hug? I told them not one direction just do it from the heart. Logan was going to wing it at first but as he saw his brothers working on theirs last night he pulled paper out and did an amazing job. Again watching the hugs after was so great. Nolan did what he always does...somehow manages to be the perfect close to the show so to speak...they fought back the tears, mixed in enough humor and paid perfect tribute to you each in their own way.
You could feel the presence of God just like that weekend when you spoke at all three services. I miss you so much. Like Def Leppard song...."this empty bed is a night alone" except here we are not foolin. This is hard because I feel like we should have had more of a goodbye at home. I would give anything to answer my "favorite" question just once more....."hey mark...how is sunny doing?"
I would love to help fight one more day.
What were you thinking when you saw all of the cars pull out of the church? I was thinking how humbling it was to have been married to not just my hero but a whole communities. The love that flowed forth as everyone gathered around the box and then you had to stick your head out from behind the clouds to see the doves scatter. Unreal.
I was so touched earlier when I was going through your emails earlier and there were two from Carcinoid friends expressing condolences. I sent notes back already don't worry. These two women said how inspiring you were as they helped loved ones fight. I heard so many stories like that the past couple of days. You still inspire me. I know how hard it will be for you not to be at Logan's side at the soccer banquet. It was his first big moment in spotlight so to speak. I know you were so looking forward to it. I will make sure he has the best time he can and forgets about this for awhile. I may step out for Seniors regonition. Remember the baseball banquet. Thanks for listening and you know that your presence is all around us. We will be strong for you and make sure that how u lived your life is a blueprint for all of us.
It's so empty up here without you. I need someone kicking me. Taking sheets and I have way too many big fluffy pillows. I love you. I love you. I LOVE YOU.