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

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Little Rays of Sunshine AKA Your 3 Sons....

Sunshine I had fully planned on continuing with the story of our years...I was looking forward to exposing to the world how you clenched me and said shut up and kiss me...but that will have to wait...once again this blog reflects life...and tonight life threw us a curveball feels like we are up at bat against Bert Blyeven (old school curveballer) or AJ Burnett (more hip local curveball analogy)....we must be getting pretty good at taking or hitting...not sure which...maybe both...anyways

I LOVE U....and boy did I need to say that case they don't have hs sports coverage up there(JK...I know or at least imagine you can see everything done here if you choose to...)...Austen took a charge which ( well at least what looked like a charge except for the guy with the whistle and striped shirt who was huffing and puffing to get back up court in position and of course saw it as a of numerous charges he missed....his wife is lucky he will never catch on to what she spends on credit....)...anyways you know I had to would have done the same so don't go there...anyways he tries to draw the charge and falls and ultimately breaks his middle metacarpal in his left hand...but keeps playing for another minute or so...then realizes it hurts and he can't catch a pass...left hand so thats good in a surgery apparently..thats good...but I did not expect to ever hear the words Ace and Dr.Grudzniak again...well at least not until this summer for his annual ACL checkup....I am going to stop now and interject a verse which I am using to help tonight...

"Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belongs to Christ Jesus."    I Thessalonians 5:16-18

Must admit Sun, hard as heck tonight to be joyful...but I wanted to share something about your son Austen...and then I was led to dovetail that into somethings about your other two bundles of all focuses on how they are like you in different ways...each unique...if you have a minute...grab the holy tissue(as if) and here we go...

So this happens as I am walking up the stairs to the gym at 6:00...the game started ten minutes early...I get a text "Austen hurt his hand"  Ok...I come through the doors in the hall and there is Ro-Dog...(trainer for those not from Plum)...he says I am just the person he was looking for...great...Ace took a charge and Doc Bob thinks he has fractured hand...Ok...walk in...he walks by...nods...hi dad...gets a splint and says he want to stay and watch his teammates not go and get an X mind is racing but fortunate I guess after all we experienced together there was no panic...I guess thats it...anyways my mind did start to race about how just yesterday he told me how much he was looking forward to the biggest game of his life....home against Fox Chapel on Friday...he was looking forward to playing and starting against Penn Hills don't get me wrong, but he was eagerly looking forward to playing Friday....we talked about how maybe he might possibly could letter if he kept working hard,  playing smart, and starting...he was caught off guard...I don't think it ever even crossed his mind...he was just having the time of his life...glad to be back on the court...with teammates both JV and Varsity, and was working his ass long part of the story short...I call Wolfson's office and night Dr. suggests getting him in tonight and Childrens Express in Monroeville open to nine...I grabbed him.....(this is midterm week so wasn't looking or planning on pulling him out of class..) he didn't want to leave his 6:40 I promised him if we left we would be back for varsity game...sure enough...we get there(like seven minutes but you knew I could fly when I wanted to...go Denali) and the lobby was empty...Ace makes a joke to the receptionist "no one here and you still have Sprout on the TV"...she laughed...and as we found out is fighting stage 4 breast cancer which has spread to lungs and is all of 45...don't ask how...these cancer magnets just happen...told her faith and attitude...etc..anyhoo...we get in ...get x rayed and off to and stability...and probably 3-6 weeks, most likely cast...again could have been worse but still not quite able to completely see that way...anyways have him back at gym after first hour...what a blessing..he goes back in and sits with teammates...I go home...not wanting to field the questions,  but stunned and upset and wanting to tell his brothers who were home studying...when I came in and told them Ace broke his a charge...the air went out of the house...I know how proud Logan has been going to the student section to cheer for his brother...Nolan was floored as well...he hasn't been getting much playing time in 8th grade team and I think was feeling a little bit jealous of his big bro starting varsity...but I could tell this news crushed him and put things in perspective...I think we all realized that damn can't this catch a break...(screw the pun you know what I mean)....

So I asked Pat to bring him home...she texts me later words of encouragement and prayers and said that they talked about it on the ride home and Ace said he would have a soft cast on by playoffs and would be back...she said he was upbeat....he actually had asked me earlier about rehabbing...and was looking forward to going back to see Mike and Ellen...I told him too soon to know...he was upbeat...such your son...your temperament...your strength...your never quit never take what the Dr. tells me is gospel attitude...your determination to overcome...again and again...he will be and I both know that...he has your drive baby...your heart...thats what I wanted to convey in this long winded manner....he is a fighter...

So now I wanted to visit regarding what I have seen since you joined team angels...from the other two...Logan has made me proud, worried me the most,  frustrated me, and grown up the most I think....he is certainly not driven you like you and Ace to overachieve...what he has is your smile....your laid back attitude...and most noticably...your ability to interact and be with young kids...he has a bond and a knack of making kids feel like they are the bomb...whether its cousins, or family friends, or the kids he was in charge of  at Summerblast...he has your gift for knowing how to make a child feel as if they are the only kid in the world...I have seen it here at the house with guests...and Roz asked him a few weekends ago to babysit for her two...they said he was the best sitter they ever and parents....he made me so proud when they came over for New Years and the two of them asked where Logan was and once they found him...big ass if he would just take some pride in his room...oh well..watching Logan respond to his Austen and become a part of the student section with all of the upperclassmen has been like watching him grow up in fast motion...its been special and you would be so proud...brothers...he gets it....

Nolan has impressed upon me your ability to presevere...he hasn't had much playing time..(between you and I and I guess the people that read this...he deserves more...I saw him take on Ace this summer and fall and I have seen some of the kids run out there off the bench who can't even figure out where to stand on the free throw line....cover the right person...oh well before I get all worked up and off subject...) Nolan has been bummed but hasn't stopped working...that is so you...not immediate short term writing a book...but you and he both keep on...I will say I think he sees how all of the baseball work paid off and how he was invited to work out with the allstar kids on sundays later this month...(small slap on back for me)....but he has your drive as well...he also is still the most sensitive of the three and has developed a real connection( I won't use the term relationship) with young ms. sara....he is always talking or texting her and I am glad that he has someone he can trust to talk too....and yet he is so you with how he thinks about getting her the right gift...doing the right thing...he is just you when it comes to sensitivity...

Each of our boys has you living in them...that is clear...and one more thing...its ironic that what happened today happened today..HUH?  you say...earlier in the day our Ms. Kylee let me know she had been asked to speak at this years Relay 4 Life at Franklin...the same event you spoke at the last two years...the same event where we met her mother and now are both in heaven....she was overwhelmed but I told her you had the same anxiety's but just rolled with proud of again the ups and downs...this downer hurt extra hard because I kept thinking about Ace....and I guess the build up of the holidays and stuff...I let it all out.....had back with it...thats why I had to finish this tonight...

Love you...Love U