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, November 15, 2012

Smiling Like Sunshine

Hey baby it's late but I wanted to check in.  Well anyways it's late down here....the train is rumbling and tooting through the cold clear night...remember how sometimes we would feel the diesel power, wake up, and fight over the covers...oh well no fighting the often do you wash covers and sheets?  Is it late up there?  Or early. Or is time irrelevant?  I guess I never thought about it?  Thinking about a lot of things these days that I never gave much thought to before.  Things that you always thought about and that I took for granted.

Two weeks ago about this time we sort of had our last verbal conversation.  You were starting to slip but I thought it was just the meds.  In hindsight I would have kept that conversation going...even if we both just rambled out of sheer exhaustion...who cares...You know what I find myself doing , is calling your cell just to hear your sweet voice again say you are not available.  God how I miss that voice.  If you keep track of days up there you will note it is garbage day...I had to get rid of all of the open Clinique stuff and assorted open sprays, creams, lotions, etc...I am taking it slowly...your last purse should be out of here by 2019...haha.  got you..I know you would kick my tush if that was the case....

Couple of curve balls thrown my way today...but I rolled with them and didn't let them ruin an otherwise good day...well you know what I mean...I rebounded after your pep talk yesterday and was determined to smile,laugh, and just be a positive impact on anyone I came across...started with the boys this morning and homemade breakfast...yeah just"daddy" eggs and bacon, cheese, and a bagel...but I didnt burn a bagel and all three cleaned their of these days I will attempt pancakes...Anyhoo, back to the positive impact thing...I am not going to become one of those "someone just died he's a mess lets avoid making eye contact with him" types...if I can smile and laugh who dares be miserable on our account?

Really do feel at times that this is still a twilight zone episode...Ace is going to Sadie Hawkins dance next week...I actually asked who "Sadie " was....what a dumbass...apparently he can wear shorts and Nikes?  I guess I better check on that the way...his phone died(I know bad choice of words) and so we switched phones...he now has your old I Phone...don't worry no charge and AT&T was courteous and my hold time was a minute....I know you put a good word in on that one because that never happens...he had Roz come over tonight to do the Tiki-thing and I know it meant more to her in a way than to him...Jim and April dropped off Denali...good to have her back...probably a cruel time to remind you that at one point you said"me or that truck"....I would drive that truck into the river if it could bring you back....but it is a blessing to have Jim and Tim because you know how handy I am with cars....and how tough I am on them....

Logan crashed before nine tonight....I hope he is Ok....he has been extra withdrawn at times no matter how I approach him...I won't quit working on it...Nolan had to get new hoop shoes because the ones you ordered seemed to have never come....tryouts over him and all hs teammates....I know...a little extra nudge from the big guy for him...I am stunned how much these shoes are....all in all it's been a nice quiet week after the week long wake it seemed every night....not quite ready to leave the comfort zone yet and I don't like the constant spotlight that seems to be on us...I know it's a good thing....but sometimes I wonder if everyone is watching and waiting for "Mark" to screw this all up...."boy does he need Sunny now"....not that I don't need you...not that I wouldn't give my liver to you in a second...we are in this fishbowl and I think some are rooting for us to swim, others expect us to flail.  So many well wishers that the support is there.  I just want to give back...give support to your friends and family....they hurt too and we are getting all of the love...I will give love back...

Well it's really late....thanks for listening as always...I love you....put a good word in for us here at 426 and for the rest of those hurting....and keep Phillip in mind again.  He improved last some needed rest...

Love, love, love