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

Friday, November 16, 2012

Strength , Hugs, and ?

Sunshine this is getting harder to do in a way...while being therapeutic since the first one almost two weeks ago....I now see the history of these past two weeks...and it sinks in deeper with each additional post added to the master list...each post is one day farther removed from you...each entry is another slash on the calendar that you were not part of...another event missed...another meal delivered means one less you didn't get to make...every Christmas catalog a pile of pages that mean nothing because you aren't here to appreciate it....each time we have done this I guess I did it to keep you close but also because it didn't seem real that you are now it's a history...two weeks without you...I miss you so much..the boys and are doing our best....but Nolan doesn't want to be home...Logan is trying but he is withdrawn as you would have expected....Ace and I back to butting heads and we lash out at each other...we are doing our best...but I feel like the glue that kept "we" together was called home November 3.  how did you do it?  How did you juggle all that you did and still keep us  normal...I need to hug....really hug each boy in the morning..the real clenching genuine hug that we shared last week...we are trying to keep things normal and get back to living but we can't ignore the 1000 elephant in the corner to quote Pastor....normal isn't normal matter what we do you are gone...I don't know how long it will take to sort out the new normal but I am told repeatedly "time" will...

Speaking of hugs as I lay here in this big ass king bed that you needed to ease bone pain...and as I look at your clothes piled in the basket on the floor by the I see your scarfs hanging over mupy I see the room spray that we bought at Bed Bath Beyond together as a family just a week prior...caps still on...hell price sticker still stuck on this one....looking at all of this I guess I could really use a Sunny hug...a squeeze in your arms...I miss that a lot- just holding you tightly and exchanging love you's and feels like forever since I got a hug...I know...ironic...because we have probably been hugged a couple thousand times each recently but none of them are your hugs...

I am not going to forget to squeeze and put thumbs up at three...I still can vividly picture that as your head lay tilted towards mine...damn..I promised myself we weren't doing this again...but is so real is so much more HD than HD...please keep an eye on us...we are trying to be strong...funny thing about strength....the body grows muscles by exhausting tissue and when cells replace the dead ones more literally push these cells to the point of complete failure...right to the brink...but then they heal and come back stronger....akin to our strength in life..the kind from above...we are constantly tested or "pushed to the brink...and if we realize we are taken there to grow that the next time we do "reps"...the next time we are challenged to the edge...we will grow stronger works for both the spiritual and the physical body...

Thinking of you tonight as the stars shine brightly...tomorrow Jesse goes to Ireland to teach for a couple of weeks...put a word in for safe passage....a lot of great friends continue to love you...I feel it, see it, every day.  Help us to be strong down hug and to cherish what we still have left....but also we need the guidance from above because there is no,play book for this...every case is different and we will trust in him to get us through...

I love you....really hurting right now...I miss you and the boys well they are still in that fog....doing their best but with a new sense of priorities...

Love u