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 29, 2012
It's The Little Things
Having said that....I miss you so frickin much....it's been four weeks tonight since we went in to corral that blood sugar....God I miss you...I still am having a hard time processing it....four weeks....how I wish I could have given you a liver or something....I am still expecting you to come back....I haven't changed much in the house....nothing of yours in fact....maybe I will soon....but the longer I can keep the same layout,the longer you seem to be here....I know it's goofy....but it's all been cleaned....I just can't get rid of anything of yours yet, because I keep thinking you ,may need it.....alright that was a bit of BS as you know....the truth is it hurts...I start to go through things and it stirs memories....part of the curse of a photographic memory is what the stupidest little things can conjure up....
I went through all of the purses a week or so go but tonight in the closet I found where I had buried your "hospital" bag....that ugly yet now irreplaceable flowered brown one...it still has the clothes that you are coming home in...how do I get rid of that? It's getting a call from Rite Aid saying your script is still on hold do you still need it because I haven't had the heart to stop in....it's not the big tear jerkers anymore....we know when Klove is on if we hear I Can Only Imagine or Blessings that if we don't change it we will bawl...we know the risk of playing U2...we get that every cancer commercial or email from one of your blog followers , although well intentioned is going to open a can of cry ass....but now it's the little things....it's how to write an excuse for school because Logan was sick...what goes on it...how do I hug him like you did...(by the way please get the heavenly prayer posse focused on him because I think he is really starting to withdraw) ...it's going for haircuts and not knowing if the kids are really satisfied like you did....(they were)....it's not knowing the right thing to say to your mother and Judy when they visit and hoping that I made them feel welcomed and not rushed out of the door....it's flipping through the channels and stopping at hallmark(312)only to see the movie begin with a widow pulling a stocking out to hang marked "dad" and crying before placing it back in the box....gently, neatly, as if someday she might need it again....it's about not knowing how to celebrate/decorate for Chirstmas....do we do as was...or will that hurt to much and be disrespectful somehow....its having condolence cards pile up because I don't know where to start....I wrote fiction..,now I write resumes...you did all of this stuff....
It's opening the glove compartment of your Dodge and seeing where you "discarded" your old drivers license....so frickin beautiful....5'4". Green eyes....big sunny smile....thick brown hair, God I could kiss you....instead I put it in the safe....it's seeing Nolan play well in the first 8th grade scrimmage and knowing how proud you would have been...it's Austen playing well in his first varsity scrimmage....starting in fact....then telling me he stunk because he says I brag too much but deep down I know those things he opened up to you with...it's Logan....I don't know how to connect right now...I left the Pirates a message today...because he wants to do his b-day on the 15th at Fanfest and I want to see if I can arrange something special from the players or something...but you were the one that rubbed his head....not me....it's being told a millions times that time is all you need and that God called her home, have faith, be strong for the kids, get back to work, pay the bills, don't slack, we are praying for you, we miss her to, we are thinking about you guys, etc.etc.. Blah blah blah...
I don't want that. I want to tell you merry Christmas....I want to go to church on Christmas eve with you...I want to go to the jewelry store to pick up your gift on the 23rd like always, I want to see your smile when the kid opened their presents....no I am not being ungrateful or unfaithful....just human honey...that's the one thing you can't relate to right now....how I wish you could....I would carry you down the stairs if needed...I would microwave any heating pad or food whatever....I would run to Sheetz or Walgreens for whatever your flavor of the night was...so please listen..I am happy that you are in heaven....but I am not thrilled about the timing....I miss you....I love you....I still need you...for the little things....