SUNNY CARNEY
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



Sunday, January 13, 2013

1/14/99

Sunshine...WE LOVE U....it comes from all of us....I know they tell you all the time(though they won't tell me they do...I just know...Fatherly instinct)...but I thought...oh well...I get off track...its hard to believe that by the time I hit PUBLISH it will be Nolan's 14th bday....for so many reasons...it seems like yesterday I was having this same conversation with you for Logan's 15th..it seems like just yesterday you were writing the letters upstairs that I have the honor of giving...last time with Logan I was not sure if he or I would be able to handle it....he did...and he has it tucked away...(and I know a lot of people have asked but I still haven't read it...I know in my heart what u said...and thats enough)....I realize now that instead of having all kind of angst about this letter to Nolan on his 14th...I will celebrate the fact and remind him how strong you were to put this out for him...and how he carries a big part of you with him everyday....he is the "baby" and the "baby" is growing up into a great young man...sensitive...passionate...he has been referred to in the past as "mini-me"...because of the three he seemed to have my build...well he is proud to have shot by me in height...(big deal..I say...Yoda was in my range) but as connected as I am with him he is growing up like you...caring about others....hyper sensitive at times about feelings of others....he is getting really good at guitar and you were the one who first pushed him....and encouraged him...and found teachers..first Pat across the street and then Justin....you did the homework on what guitar to buy and what starter kit was best...You pushed...he responded...

I go back to the day when we learned of our third miracle...Deely St...we had friends over on a nice spring day(alright mostly my drinking buddies...but we were doing something or the other at the house...Austen and Logan were napping....You  called me upstairs and said you were going to take a test...I said OK...what for....well then I got it...sat down on that white leather couch...waited...noise and laughing outside...a twenty month old and a six month old in their cribs/bed....you came down and said guess what...you were in tears a bit..I said...nothing...you said yep....I jumped up off that couch so fast and was so excited I think my reaction helped you realize that it was completely OK...(and you were the one who was going to go through it again physically for the third time in as many years....damn strong...)you sat down on the stairs...looked at me and said and I will never forget this..."what are we crazy...we can't handle two...how are we going to do this....maybe you should run to the store and grab one more just to be sure...."...I said congrats...can I go tell the boys(my buddies...as I told you Austen was 20 months and although smart for his age was just learning to tolerate "woa woa" as he called Logan...and Logan was six months..still wrapping up jaundice blankets....)....you looked at me with those big puppy dog green eyes...the color of the Irish Isle..and smiled and said "are you sure"...I answered by giving you the biggest hug and sloppiest probing kiss I could in my excitement..."Can I tell them?..." (we fought post-partem by just staying pregnant...well when we say we you know I meant you....)...so half of Greenfield knew by that afternoon.....and deep down I had a feeling it was going to be another boy and I think you did too..we didn't spend much time on girls names...Nolan Patrick...great name..a Hall of Fame name...and then a short time later when we had the ultrasound and I saw it....(we had so many because of your high risk status with the first two that I got pretty good at reading them) and the nurse confirmed what I thought I had saw....Nolan Patrick it was...I am not sure but I think Nolan stands for Miracle 3...or "Holy Cow is that one cute...."...and we knew that three was the perfect number...and that girls weren't in our script....(thank God in hindsight...because I would be losing my shit so to speak right now if I had to help a daughter shop...dress...makeup...whatever...she would be a tomboy of all tomboys....)....

I know we each have a unique connection with our different children...its supposed to be that way...and I know we used to kid that Austen was my golden child...but you knew that you and he had that first born mom-child thing...then Logan...he was the answer to the passing of your dad...born three weeks later...the biggest grin I still have ever seen on a kid...and just laughed his ass off...a blessing in so many ways (except for Austen who at first wanted him banished....)..but then came the baby...Nolan and you had the "youngest child" connection from day one...he would do anything to please me but also to please you....especially to please you....he got that from you....the desire to be affirmed...to know that you had done good and never hurt anyones feelings...(you hadn't yet discovered the power of Sunny Smackdown's)....I remember when you dressed  him up for pre-school career day and when I came to speak...yes everyone had canceled so headhunter was like right before
church on the ho hum excitement scale for four and five year olds...and when I came in with my bags of popcorn from the office(thanks Fran RIP...)a great bribe...the rubber foam stress balls as well I was in...but then I saw what you helped Nolan do and I still have it in my office...you had in khakis,  a blue buttoned shirt...one of my ties...way to big on him obviously and his harry potter classes...caption on photo on chalkboard..."Nolan Carney...when I grow up I want to be a headhunter like my dad. I will help good people find good jobs."  Damn.  For you to do that for him and for me and the way it has impacted me all these years later is the prime example of the relationship you two had.  Everything had to be perfect...and pleasing...and it was....I LOVE U....this story may seem to be more about me than you but its not...everyone canceled...as class mom you were about to have a career day disaster...you made sure it wasn't...you even rounded up one of local firestations to stop by last minute(thank God I was first)....

I can tell the connection you two had being perfectionists because he was always the one who could never choose a Halloween costume...you would make suggestion after suggestion...I would go outside and make calls...come back in ...Austen and Logan were set...Nolan still had three things in the cart but still wasn't sure...how you...I chuckled...you failed to see why...but I think later you did...as we went in to Shadyside this past Halloween(trick or treat postponed to the 3rd of November because of Sandy)...you were so frickin worried not about your counts...not about the pain...two things...one...you wanted to make sure you could at least go to a couple of houses with the boys and their friends...just in case it was the last time...and you were worried that Nolan had kept changing his mind and you had to be there to make sure he had what he wanted...ironic but true...

So that is the essence of our third miracle...Nolan Patrick Carney....1/14/99...the best damn third child ever....the baby in your eyes...mini-me in mine...mugsy to others...he is a great kid and I know he will have an emotional day tomorrow...two midterms...yikes...but he will get through...he has your heart so he will cry I know that....but he will go on...he will text ms. sara...or grab his guitar...or chill....thats his style...and its ok...each of us is shooting this movie as we go...unscripted and unedited....

You had the attitude and gift to encourage and I see that shining through more and more with the four of us...little things...dealing with challenges in a way which has the right perspective...its you and your footprints....Earlier tonight I was chatting with someone who reminded me that how you approach a fight with cancer is up to you....that not everyone chooses to approach the battle like you did...and by doing so inspiring others...and living....not letting your physical pain dictate how you faced each day...not everyone makes that choice...and I guess I took it for granted that everyone does because that was what you taught me...so it was a good wakeup call to me to not be bummed out when I give Nolan your letter...because it came from somewhere inside of you and was the result of deep inner courage and strength and love and that is how you lived each day....by choice...and I can't forget that and have to do the same....thanks for helping me tonight Sunny by connecting the two of us....

NOLAN  ....Happy BDay...

From Us....big 14...

We know u were hoping for a new guitar or Xbox or even another dog..
instead you got a few hugs....attaboys....and to read this stupid blog....

Love you...

Mom and dad....


PS...he will have a great birthday...please no that the blog isn't the only gift....just a joke...and yes I got a cake...balloons...streamer...cards...yes from his brothers too...I was trained well Sun or did they forget...

Goodnight.....great day...

LOVE U

ME