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



Thursday, January 17, 2013

Choices....

Sunshine I LOVE U....I wanted to get that off my chest because I have wanting to reach out and hold you so tight for the past two hours...don't know what sparked the emotion..just happened...I want to wrap my arms around you and squeeze you so frickin tight...you know the way I could before the back tumors flared up a year ago...not one of our semi-squeezes...I want the Sunny hug I have etched into the nerve bank of my arms...reflex...I can put them out and just pull you in...ah well...let me catch my breath...and wipe my eyes...I LOVE U....that wasn't the way I was going to start off this talk but I was just thinking by the time this hits the airwaves it will have been 75 days since I hugged you....softly...strongly...warmly...coldly....alive or not...its been 75 days....and I started to get down...I started down that "shit where did my Sun go...really..."...but I stopped...because almost immediately another thought came to my mind...7,671...thats the days we got to spend in love with each other...so I had a choice...do I hurt and get bitter over 75 lost days...or do I celebrate and fondly remember the 21 years we had together...well you don't have to be a Vegas oddsmaker to realize that if you have a 100 to 1 in your favor that you take the odds....so I started to perk up...how blessed I was...how blessed we were...God gave us a lot of time to love...and to grow that love...but then I thought what if we only had one day...what if the odds were reversed to 1:75...would that have changed anything...would that have mattered...well of course it would it ways that are not applicable....kids..engagement...whatever....but what if God blessed me with just one day in this whole life with you...

One....


I would say give me the 24 hours God and don't start the clock until we say hello....I would take it without thinking twice...I would then spend those next 24 precious hours getting to know everything about you....getting to know who you were...what drove you...what made you Sunny...I would take those 24 treasured hours and fall in love...why..because I wouldn't have time to waste...I wouldn't be able to put off anything I wanted to say or do with you...I wouldn't be able to bank on tomorrow...we had 24 hours...today...the present...I wouldn't waste a second....if you got up I would get up and follow just to be able to suck in your brilliant beauty for the entire 24 hours...again I would not get cheated out of a glimpse...out of conversation...we would stay up all night...well...it would be the best 24 hours of my life....so I would take the offer....

Two.....


Having said that honey....there are two things that I want to add...I am frickin blessed that I didn't have to bank it all into one day....I will forever treasure and celebrate the 7671 that we had....but the second thought is I would live each of those 7671 days as if it were ONE....somedays I did....but others I relied on tomorrow....I am not regretting....because if I hadn't wasted a few of our precious ONE days....whether it was June 5, 1996 or August 12, 2000...whatever you get the point...not everyday was lived as ONE....so I learned a lesson because of it that I wouldn't be able to pass along now....I wouldn't be able to say "HEY WORLD....you have ONE...."....would they seize it or not...you and I have the benefit of knowing where we would be....in each others arms....squeezing tight...

So I have no idea where this came from but I hope that everyone who reads realizes that you have today....you have the now....what are you going to do with it...are you going to give the present back and say reship tomorrow...because life isn't a guarranteed frickin FED EX package with signature on receipt....life can't be tevo'd....

But life is so damn special when you stop and enjoy the moment....no matter if its spent in a Hillman Cancer Waiting Room,...or its getting bloodwork done...or its getting on the plane to fly to Switzerland to fight cancer....we made the most of whatever we had...once you were able to help me see the light....so please don't make frickin excuses if you are reading this about how you can't enjoy the moment....the now...the day that is your personal gift from above...because guess what...if you were the last person here...He would still have the sun come up....think about it...now think about much better your today is with loved ones around you...go hug em...go tell em you love em...or...wait until tomorrow...and pray your ass off that tomorrow actually comes...missed opportunities of time and moments can't be recovered...can't be bailed out...can't be repurchased...they are spent forever...so what are you spending your moment on today...right now...(of course you are finished with this)...

The reality is that even though we were blessed with a long fight...getting more time from above at every turn...the sudden storm came....and you were gone....none of us know when that sudden squall is going to come from...which and Sunshine I know I am running on but bear with me this is what was on my heart to talk to you about tonight and now I see how everything just sort of connected....

I want to share four short little verses...Luke 8:22-25(NIV)...this story only is recounted by Luke and it really drives home the point about not taking things for granted...but also comforts with the reality that we are not just relying on ourselves to enjoy the present...so here goes...

v22"One day Jesus said to the disciples, "Lets go over to the other side of the lake." So they got into a boat and set out. 

Now lets look at this first short little verse.  This is just "one day"....any other typical day....most of us will wake up tomorrow to the same thing...one day....and 12 of the most famous men in history are just doing what Jesus called them to do..."go over to the other side of the lake"....pretty easy...they weren't being called to feed 5000 people with a Sheetz card...or to heal the sick or raise the dead....just cross the lake...most of them were seasoned hardy fishermen....the skies were obviously clear because they got into the boat and just left....started their engines so to speak and drove off...

v23As they sailed he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger."

Again lets visit this Sunshine....Jesus fell asleep...this is the man side...he needed to rest....(btw....what do you think he dreamt about)....the squall came from nowhere....these seasoned fishermen were taking on water...notice from above...the boat itself wasn't leaking...but when the bible uses the term great danger....I am fairly certain this was life or death....what GREAT DANGER will come at us today....out of nowhere...what less than great danger will come at us today....remember this story goes to the extreme to show a truth....

v24The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Master, Master, we're going to drown!"

So if they had to go to him that means they were on the other side of the boat bailing water and doing what they could before waking him....Jesus was there the whole time with them....sleeping ,  probably in a deep REM dream state if the storm didn't wake him....and they go and tell him....wake up we are going to die....one key thing here which I took out of this is that these are the 12 who witnessed first hand miracles....parables....they were with him everyday...they got scared and they could see him not far peaceful....yet they couldn't grasp the PEACE of Jesus at that moment..they panicked and called out to him....so as I have struggled at times the past two months...I don't feel bad....this is what us humans do....now watch Jesus next move...

v24 cont....He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm.v25 "Where is your faith?" he asked his disciples.  In fear and amazement they asked one another, "Who is this?  He commands even the winds and the water , and they obey him."

So Sunshine you know how happy you were when I woke you  up from a deep sleep....dreaming....you would have flipped out on me in a big way for a few minutes...what does Jesus do....he doesn't wake up cranky....he gives mother nature a beat down....rebuking the storm...and ALL goes calm...He didn't ask God his father,  what kind of putzes have you picked for me....the seven dwarfs would be better...really Father...these guys....no....he calms the storm....then he asks them Why?  Where is your faith?  Come on guys....I was with you....trust....why were you worried...I was right there...And I think that is the key...when things have looked bleak....no matter how strong the storm...no matter how sudden it came up...no matter how prepared we thought we were(the fishermen panicked)by our training or vocation...who will we turn to ?   And does he answer?  The answer is if we call on him even if we don't think he is paying attention..."asleep on the stern"....he is with us....but more importantly if we go to him ....and "wake him"...he will not berate or demean us...he will Calm ALL....no matter what..

This little passage has given me a lot of comfort because initially I really questioned why God had taken you in a sudden squall so to speak...and was he with us...well I got my answer and have tried to live a little more like he is on the boat next to me....Dreaming , snoring, whatever...he is at peace...and if I am supposed to share in the peace of Jesus...I guess that means I am at peace too...when I have forgotten he is right next to me...and bail the boat on my own....thats why I have panicked that I am all alone...I can't do this...where is SUnny....

Hope this didn't bore you Sunshine...I LOVE U...

ME