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
Thursday, January 3, 2013
Missing U & Remembering U-Holidays II(Uncut Version)
I want to help so much with what you started....I am told to keep this going...I promised you so its a moot point...if you and I and the fat beagle are the only ones who know its here don't matter....but I am told to keep going because it helps...it helps give peace and hope etc...Sunshine I went to school for writing...you know that...I think I have been blessed with the ability to type 14 words a minute...in a voice that I know you get...but what you had and did came from above and I struggle with the fact that I may veer to often into the flesh/human side...do I bring people down doing this...I can't change the way it is....I pray before I start...put Pandora's Smiths/U2/mercy me/ whatever I feel led to on and I go....often where I end up is not anywhere close to what I planned....(kind of like life in a way I guess)I just want you to be certain that this will continue no matter how incoherent/rambling it may seem at times because afterall as you(and a few others) know that is how I talk once in awhile...what I really wish is that I had the conviction , courage, and strength to answer the calling of where I think this next leg of the journey is supposed to go....sorry that stays between you and I and the big guy...you never thought twice...sure you had to be pushed a little but you never pushed back...and with all a buck ten or whatever you couldn't push hard anyways...you took the plunge...fought the fight without making it seem like you were even in the ring...as I reflected upon it I one of your greatest gifts was to interact with people and if they didn't know the story....they never would...you didn't bitch moan complain or even sneeze with others because you wanted to inspire...not collect pity....you wanted to pray for others...to advise others...to encourage others not be coddled or pooh poohed over...God how I love you...you were the most amazing woman I ever met and I had the honor of changing your last name..(.talk about burning through your allotment of blessings...I am grateful He gave me that first huge one)
So lets get to New Years Eve...(I practiced kissing with the fat beagle in case he didn't smell like ass...not a chance...)the kids wanted to have people over...it was going to hurt but its good to be around others....we all know that you are gone...ripped away from us to soon...but it would have been harder playing Fact or Crap or Stop Thief with the just the four of us...only you could stop the cheating and bickering and the ensuing Parker Brothers madness that followed when we tried to play a board game...(I blame Sony)....only you could say enough...declare a winner(usaully anyone but Ace) and say lets get ready for Dick Clark(oops)....so I wasn't surprised or put off when they asked me to have a party at the house...they all pitched in....they shoveled and salted the driveway again(making sure the girls didn't fall I think)they did rearranging of chatskies for me...they did the dishwasher the right way...arranged pillows...and most importantly actually got along...united in a quest to party...no chance of missing that gene with us...then fresh snow...who would show..who would get scared by the flakes...well miracles happen on new years eve as well because it couldn't have been snowing for more than twenty minutes and the big Plum plow/salter came up and pretreated the street...thats right...snow plan be damned....it was a sign especially since we still have two weeks of holiday garbage sitting on the street because apparently unlike the postal service...the UPS guy and Uncle Tom, the fine guys from WMI or DWI or wherever couldn't get their trucks up...then they actually sent the recycle truck(thats right Sunshine same truck and you knew I would get my garbage obsession in a blog sooner or later) up that morning but left the stinking ripped ham bone hanging turkey wing dangling eggshell scattering tattered neighbors bags and our cans...only important to note because the fat beagle scurried off and returned twice with bones that Indiana Jones would have been proud to identify and of course threw up early Tuesday morning....stinky mfer....I may send Allied the bill...kind of ironic in a way that he was the only one who threw up though...
Ok...back off the refuse diatribe...it snowed...it was one of those heavy stick on the limbs and wires and when you are in it you never feel like you are getting wet in it snows....it was not going to bring me down...because I saw everything ....dirty salt infested snow...lawn furniture with running rust marks that you hated....our woods....everything became cleansed for the new year with a white that Crest and Colgate would patent in court....it was a message that just like the Sun shone bright that first weekend after with temps in the low 70's....this was a message that what was once dark/dingy/and dirty...can be made as a snow so fresh and clean you can put it in coolers to keep the beer cold(not to mention saved about $20 on ice)...it was a white eraser of the blackness which was setting in throughout my day....it actually gave me comfort that you were going to make sure that one more "sunny event" wasn't ruined by weather...well between kids buddies, and girlfriends, and our friends....I think it was a cast of 45 or so that rang in the Ryan Secrest new year....actually as perfect as a heartache could be...
The food was unbelievable...I made nothing...but did some shopping and then had the foresight to call Lisa to help arrange the platters and such(yep still clueless Martha Stewart)and then it just happened...we went from what should I bring 48 hours before to a buffet that the Grand Concourse would have retreated from....yes I thanked them...lets do it again..you wonderful ladies who made, dropped off, set up, laid out....it was humbling to the kids and I....to everyone who brought additional adult beverages of different varieties...where else could you celebrate new years in plum with Mexican 43, homemade eggnog...well you get the point sunshine...it was a great scene...it was as if all that work you put into the kitchen fretting over how you wanted us to enjoy the house when you were gone...well...I stop for a sec...sorry...........I kept sneaking out to call you....its so great to hear your voice say "hi you have reached Sunny Carney"....I must have done it fifty times...it somehow kept you near and I don't care how stupid it sounds to anyone else because no one else heard or loved that voice more than me...(or got yelled by at it more either)....the kids went sledding in the yard continuing the tradition started by the older kids on the street who used to ask to use our boys sleds on new years if there was snow....watching your oldest son run past all of us on the porch(yep Kylee too in a fit of macho showing off I left my brain under your control move)and with just a tee shirt and jeans did a belly smack onto the sled tracks...(apparently when asked later he responded he thought it was iced) and then stopped in a frenzy of fresh powder...a little red in the face...played it off as if he had just started some new deviant plum polar bear club and encouraged his buddies to do the same....(yes I got to use the dryer )....
we toasted you....we toasted friends helping to make friends hurt a little less that night....we toasted I guess as a community...it was a testament to you because through you a fairly eclectic group of people had a great time ringing in the new years and eased each memories because the boys and I weren't the only ones hurting....I respect the hell out of all them for it....short notice....snow...your image and footprints everywhere....it could have been me and the boys and a few deer...but it was so much more...it didn't erase the hurt(nothing ever will) but maybe we started a new tradition for new years....we will toast you everyday...but especially that day...we can hug you as a group....its been a really really really long two months today....and I am going to leave it on that note...we survived the holidays....hurting and praying....friends and family....God and grace...and a splash of Irish medicine...don't know what next year at this time will bring but I know you will be a part of it...I love you.....I miss your tongue....yes I said it....its late and we are not on WQED...I am empty in a way and I have no idea how to change this limpass print back....but I am living without part of myself...the sunnyside of me...I will treasure every holiday memory we created shared and were blessed with...I am the luckiest dude in the world to have shared life with you...Happy 2013 Sun and know that you are with me and us forever....