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
Monday, December 3, 2012
11/3/12-12/3/12. The First 30 Days
30. Days. I wanted to tell you that I love you. I wanted to squeeze again...hug again....(I know not to hard because of the tumors in the back)...I wanted to share a ride to Hillman, a U2 song on the way, a two hour wait, and then a lunch....one more lunch...I will eat fast because I know you can only sit for so long before it hurts, soup, salad, and a joke about when we can finally share a drink again....no more liver issues....I know it sounds pathetic up there and probably to a lot of people down here too, but I don't shed as many tears; my heart just aches more...I don't need as many Kleenex just a magic heartache elixir....this won't be like a "booboo" where we wait a couple of days or week and presto....back to normal....I have been told that this takes awhile...all I know is it's been tough trying to return to normal when your GPS for normal says "can't find, try again"....we go through each day, go through motions at times...we do our best and hope that our best with his guiding hands are enough...at times it's hard to open the bible, it's hard to pray at times...I know my faith has been challenged and I know you are in heaven and we rejoice in that.... My brain and soul get it....now we just have to convince the heart...
I found the I guess you call it toiletry bag that you packed for that one night stay last month. Unzipped it...your glasses, your contact case ans solution, your ziplock bag of ibuprofen, your ziplock bag with toothbrush and toothpaste....your brush, a scrunchy...it was like finding a time capsule yesterday....I didn't cry....but my heart hung heavy...like a wet tapestry....the pictures not fading, but not quite luscent as they once had been...I found a green sweatshirt....with handprints saying Mommys little turkeys....and each of the three boys hands drawn in and somehow saved on...I found these older little baby girl clothes, still on hangers, newborn, 3-6 months stuff...pirates etc...all pink...all old....not even sure what it was or where it came from but the heart got yanked big time with that...
I want to let you know that it is good to feel His presence. Because when the kids go to school this home office thing can be tough. It's lonely. No one to share I the success of a new retainer or a great candidate, or just to fill you in on what Whiting is up to. No one to brainstorm with. You listened and encouraged and pushed at just the right times...you shared this dream with me as much as I shared your fight with you....there are a lot of people around at times, there are a lot of calls at times...but I miss your company...I miss knowing I could bounce up those two flights of stairs and sit on the bed next to you(usually impatiently waiting for you to get off the phone with another carcinoid patient) so I could tell you about the call I just had...or to update you on expected sales or the pipeline....no one to review the pipeline with now...anyways even with a lot of support there is no one I can talk to like we did...its not like I miss having a "woman's" perspective , I miss having my baby's input. Thank God He is walking with us and we can talk to him and feel him here , even in our darkest moments of anger and doubt, He is still here in this house, and that is comforting beyond belief. You and I talked about how we couldn't imagine fighting cancer without that faith, I can't imagine facing this loss without having that faith.
Ace made the varsity basketball team. So proud because of how hard he worked after the surgery to get back...he has your tenacity and drive and I know you will be flipping GodTv Friday at eight to the plum Hs channel to watch his debut at the kickoff tournament. Logan is almost 15...he had a pretty good weekend all in all. I wish he had a sport going on right now, because he is in need of something to do after school...too much time here and you start to hear your voice, trust me on that one....he is,growing into a young man....in fact needs to shave more than Ace at this point....Nolan is playing second team for the eight grade hoops squad, but he is accepting the challenge of working harder, and will be the seven man by the end of the season...mark my words....
I learned how to use the parent portal finally, I got the candles inthe windows, and the lights sort of ready to go up....the boys and I made your blankets for the seniors home with Kelli and the gang last night....twenty people, and 22 blankets....no lefty scissors, but it was so rewarding, I can't believe I never helped when you were here....we also picked out the presents for the toys for tots at Sunnys tree and dropped them off..in case you didn't notice that tree has a lot of presents under it....so you see I know you are still here in plum and Pittsburgh, and in the hearts of all of us, because in a lot of ways the X-mas spirit is yours. This time of year will hurt real hard greatly because it was so special to you that you left footprints....
I love you....Faith is strong, Hope that we can get through each day, and Love....I try to make sure we live each day loving like He loved us....and how you tried to be each day....love you baby...