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
Sunday, January 6, 2013
Once in a Lifetime
I Love You....I never get tired of saying that...I swear as I am typing right this moment Don't Stop Believing just came on Pandora...that was you...your message to whoever asked...your words to us at home...your anchor...I watched you battle through so damn much it pauses me now yet you kept on...the dignity and grace with which you carried yourself even after your legs swelled so bad I had to lift you up everytime you needed to move over the last two months...even after you started to have woozy spells and falls, even after you relunctantly agreed to use the wheelchair on prolonged outings...even after you had the agonizing pain of the shingles(I shudder thinking back to your tortured cries all night and how I couldn't help) after all this you were not going to miss the opportunity to go to the Outer Banks in September with all of us and be Amy's maid of honor...it hurt...but you made the trade off and it was a special week that is frozen in my memory....after all that you were not going to miss the Wiffleball tournament...you weren't going to come, wave, and run off like some ninety year old British monarch...you stayed for hours, hugging and kissing, and hanging...you never stopped Believing and it taught us to do the same...your public resilence was something very few people life will understand....I knew how the pain was at home...the outside world could never see it...you wouldn't let them...you didn't want stares or pity...you wanted to pep up and encourage....I had front row actually a backstage pass to you as you navigated the times of day that were better to go out and make a difference and then help with the pain when you got back...it was a life of such intensity....running the gamut of the purest rawest emotional sprectrum possible...they say a Stanley Cup run forges a strong unforgetable bond between the players involved...they have no frickin clue what a bond is...when love can rip open your heart to the very core because you hurt and I can't help...when that same love can take you to the upper heavens with elation and relief when you get the news that there is a new treatment or meds or that the surgery worked...when that same love drives every single hour of your day and yet doesn't seem to be nearly enough...when that same love unites with itself in yours and two truly can feel as one....(like ET and that stupid plant) than whatever the roller coaster of life runs you are on my lap and I hold on not letting go....we laugh and scream...but we do it on one seat....as one...when that love exists anything can be done....you taught me that...I learned and gave it back and I guess now I need to make sure others get it...cancer sucks...cancer without love really sucks....Dont stop Believing...
I am stuck on the verse from Matthew which says "seek first the kingdom of God and his rightousness and all these things shall be added to you"...I guess what I realized was how you defined seek...it wasn't lip service...it was praying and reading scripture and turning to Him at all times for comfort and peace...but it was more..you then had a calling and you answered....you sought his desire not yours...and all these things that were added are still bearing fruit/results today...the so called footprints are these things added...I guess what I...(sorry... stopped... U2 "with or without you" just played...needed to walk away for a few moments)and you give yourself away...and you give yourself away...I can't live with or without you...thanks Bono...
Back from the kleenex/snot rag....I guess what I have been trying to do is "seek" harder...it seems like an impossible task at times because of the things that day to day life brings....but I know thats no excuse...so I guess I ask myself and you...how hard should I seek?....if I am not fully prepared for where seeking may lead do I punk out? Do we all face the same point? Are we all in some way afraid to seek harder because we may not like the answer it give us? You scoff...because you made the choice and it seemed a no brainer...I am not talking about having faith, hope and love...I am not talking about praying and going to church or bible study...I am talking about all of that and more...more being whatever the "seeking" has led, you go...like you did...its hard...
Wow...wasn't anticipating going here tonight with this conversation Sun but once again just got there somehow...was planning on continuing the early years of the great Sunny/Mark love story...I think this a good place to stop and I will pick up our story next time...I was so inspired and yet scared that I couldn't fulfill your expectations and the boys expectations because of how strong you were....one day at a time..but I still feel like I let you and the boys down most days...its that fear that I am using as motivation now...going to win each day...no matter how bad it hurts...going to win the week...sometimes maybe not a clean seven day sweep...but those footprints were awful big you left and like I said intimidating....there are no real measuring sticks to track progress with how we handle this but I will do the best I can....
Love you....adore you...and want to hug you....