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



Monday, January 14, 2013

4/21/12 & 1/14/13

Sunshine....well it was quite a day...the big 14 for our Nolan....by the time this hits the press it will be the 15th and be over...and some bill will be past due...who cares...(JK...don't yell...)...I know you are aware of all of this because as I was made aware earlier this evening you are never far...God shows us glimpses of you when we are thinking about being weak or losing focus....and it happened again...so I want to tie Nolan's attitude today with your attitude from April 21 of last year....like you didn't see this coming....wasn't my original plan...goal was going to be simply have a nice short talk about we survived and made out on the bday....btw...as each goes by..mine first, then Logan's , now Nolan's...we are getting stronger...no we haven't forgotten how you made all bday's special...no we haven't stopped missing you and thinking about you constantly....but I think now we are starting to get it..maybe I will put it this way and just speak for myself...I was on record many times in this very blog/talks of saying I wish I could have one more moment with you....one more chance to say goodbye...down here....I think now I would rather have a quick heavenly spectrum machine or whatever that would allow me/us to visit you for a just a divine nanosecond or whatever...and I know of course thats impossible and impractical and no I don't lose sleep over this fantasy...but I bring it up to show you that I am accepting your peace...and I am gathering strength from how you lived each day as opposed to hurting recalling the end...I am shifting my line of thinking from Why God....to God I was so blessed....I still cry....you know that...I still call your name out in moments of extreme isolation...but it gets shorter...and I find myself thinking more about how you faced each challenge..whether a new day...beginning in a shit load of pain...or awaiting the results of whatever scan or test we had just left....whatever...you get it...every single challenge we prayed over...we had peace...and that peace gave you the courage or moxie ...whatever the right word is...to tackle the potential pothole on the road of life head on...no swerving....afterall when you are making concrete footprints who is afraid of a little missing asphalt...you drew upon the peace to build the faith...and I think....well I know...felt the love from above...from me next to you...and from your family, friends, and posse...another big step for your "baby Mark" is that as we talk...I am not teared up...I am pumped up to tap into that gift you were given and utilized to the extreme...in fact as dumb as it may sound to those outside our realm....I shared with Hilton Head tonight that cancer saved our marriage and me at the same time...I got drawn so close to you and reminded what is really important in this world after 2004...we always had love....I always adored you...but we both know I had a choice to make on how to approach your fight...and thank God prayers were answered and as you bravely moved forward I was shown that there wasn't a choice....shape up dumbass...or lose everything...so I think back on how you were a vehicle used to change and inspire and impact so many...but honestly and yes a little selfishly but its late and I don't care...you had me aboard first...and as I look back I am so blessed that it played that way....

So I know I know I ramble...but its late and so what...I will get back to the two dates in the title...obviously the latter was yesterday...Nolans bday...the first time without mom making the arrangements...tying balloons...getting the perfect cake...taking photo after photo...just you being the Martha frickin Stewart of each and every bday he or any of us quite frankly ever had...so today was another big test for him....I gave him your letter after we got home from basketball practice...and before we did the rest of the gifts and cards...you deserve quite time with him...and I waited to see if he needed to hug or a shoulder or would crawl into bed...he didn't....we had a great night...he went back to studying...although with a severe headache for awhile which I attribute to practice and stress...I said a good day not perfect...but when I asked him how was mom's letter...and did he realize that it was the last note you made for him..he didn't flinch...he said it was cool...I am Ok dad and I know how strong she was to write it...I gave him a big hug and didn't care if he needed it or not...I think you pushed me into it and it was from you....so his strength..his courage...his putting the boots back on and moving forward were clearly on display yesterday and called you to mind time and again....

So now lets get to that first date in the title and how it ties in....That was the Saturday of the opening day for the new PBSA organization at our boro complex...the Pirates were coming because they had made a grant and Greg Brown and ultimately McKenry and Harrison came....and it was to be in the morning because they had a game that night against the Cardinals (AJ Burnett's Pirates debut)...you were a little embarrassed when asked to throw out first pitch the week before but of course you said yes...you were already feeling more pain...constant and affected by the weather more severely than in the past(after we had the results of that scan the week after it all made sense why)....so there you are that Saturday morning...its like a record low high 30's...miserable wind and rain...the only Sun to show up was going to have to be you...and you thought about bailing for like a flash...and then said I will meet down there....you and Nolan go in case his game is on...and the other two and I will be there in time for the ceremony...when I say bailing...you never even really considered it you were just humoring me because I was scared of your counts and what would happen if you did go...

We are waiting...the games are called...the pop up tents are getting beat by the rain and wind...Nolan gets his team picture and then we see you...smiling under the pavilon by the refreshment stand...like you were just taking another stroll at the fields...people hugging you and giving you best wishes...then it really started to rain...we never thought that you would go on the field...yes sad to admit it...so the boys and I started to help take down the tents..roll up extension cords..and then one of them came back to me and said you missed mom...she threw out the first pitch and it was a strike...the other two were pissed at me of course...and I realized that you had a ride onto the mound....had got out...and thrown a strike..I should have known better...but again you taught me a lesson ....never ever underestimate divine driven resiliency...never tell Sunny that she couldn't do it...because as she used to joke...if I could say I do to you...I can do anything...ha ha good one still toots...so ultimately just six months and change before you left us here...you were teaching me and inspiring a community...and the Pirates..as we watched and recorded the game that evening...played in a dreary constant cold drizzle...Greg Brown brought up his morning in Plum...and how it was great to see such a turnout on that type of morning...and how he had met a special Sunny...and sent best wishes...that was frickin awesome that night...

It was totally insane when I got the text earlier saying "watching replay of last years Pirates game and Greg Brown was just talking about Sunny"....now lets finish connecting the dots...Jackie had the replay on Root Sports of a Pirates game...couldn't be more than ten people watching across the market...Little Mason hears your name...the game chosen to show tonight of all the games from last year is that one...the night of Nolan's bday and a reaffirmation of how you will make sure we are never abandoned...damn...big dots...big footprints...big heart...big smile..you did most things big...and I love you so much for it...thats it...thats all I got...It was a special day and we know you were here...

LOVE U....

ME