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 23, 2013

Sunshine for a Cold Winter Night....

Sunshine I LOVE U..... in case you don't have a divine thermostat up there its frigid down here...I think the Pirates could produce more runs than the thermometer reads...against Clayton Kershaw...its so cold our boys actually have a two hour delay in the morning...after being the only district this side of Anchorage to go on time this morning we got a delay....didn't see the difference until a little while ago when a few flurries fell....a dusting they call it at Accuweather I think...(oxymoron) but enough that it was so cold salt wouldn't work on roads if it sticks...meanwhile as dog went out it was blowing in the wind....wisps of snow...on frozen a heavenly ahem moving cold crisp flurries....just to remind us He's here....swirling and twirling at the ankles and ahead in the a Scooby Doo graveyard fog...but so cold...the breath adds to cold my breath is thick like a dryer vent exhaling or a chimney puff puffing into the night...the wind is still singing through your some kind of angelic microphone continiously playing natures symphony....a caucophony of metal and wood clanging and banging and somehow making melodic harmonies....what key....don't know...Major or minor....don't care...those chimes have survived and played through stronger storms on our porch since November than those wannabes from the Titanic...Its as if you know when I need a pick me up and you reach down and strum them disguised as winter gusts....Thanks honey...I need that constant music in my head....

I have so much that I wanted to share with you tonight..but first can I ask are you guys trying to fill a heavenly wiffleball team or something?  First Kristin's dad at 61 and then Susan's dad in a month and a week...did you guys need a few players or something...did someone lose their wings...I ask because we used to say these things happened in threes...I know you signed them both up for your team...always wanting to look after loved ones.....theres some hurting going on down here babe so make sure they know that and help watch over things down here....

I want to thank you and ask a favor for you to pass on to the The Man In Charge up there or His Son....first I never realized until tonight that you had a role in helping lead me and I guess our boys as well to Kylee...Kristin's daughter...I won't go into details here but am so happy that I have been able to help her cope....and as you know on the t-shirt for the fundraiser Chris Cooley did it was Kristin, Lorri Nixon, and yourself....well guess what....I need you to ask for a little more time and healing from the shingles for Lorri....we are all praying but she needs relief from the pain....and from cranks who are calling and texting saying she would be healed if not for her attitude...remember we had a few of those "insane over -zealous trespassers on our relationship with Him.."...I was so happy to put a stop to those calls and messages...I told her to do the same...anyways I digress...Please put a word in for her family and loved ones and her....that she gets relief...can get back on meds...and get time....

Please continue to put words in for Austen and his arm....Logan and Nolan to watch over as you always did....and me maintain edge during day...I need know those are still the longest hours....Also please make sure Mandy's father is in healing prayers....Gunsalles family and everything they are dealing with...and Hilton Head Lori...who had a procedure on Monday and is on the mend...If I left anyone out I am going to have to buzz you later you can see the list is way too big...for one week...well too big for my head but not for please go tell Him...

So now we can get to the original intent of my this will hit the airwaves Sun it will be Wednesday...a year from the day...not date...but day...that you were supposed to be released as usual from Hospittaal in Basel back to the hotel....I am going to do an abridged version of this because its late and yes emotional...I wanted to share something about that day that changed my life for the umpteenth time and never shared with you...but with everything going on around here someone may need to hear it...I break for a moment sorry...

Your weight and counts were low as you recall and they almost tried to cancel the treatment...they did warn us that the pain because of those two issues would be strong to severe and potentially there was more serious implications hinted hesitation after praying about this trip for told em you were a go...Wednesday...morning...early...pain so intense....Dr. Mars pulled me aside and asked if something happened how far should they go?....I didn't know what the hell he was talking about...your counts were low...the pain meds could mask it....I was in Basel...listening to Doogie Howser tell me in an accent that I shouldn't leave....OK dumbass...u were still screaming in pain now and then....breathing heavy....they were watching counts and heart...I was watching you and way did we go through this to have to deal with this in frickin Switzerland...and for a minute...OK for a few minutes...was I flying home with a could I tell the kids....and your mom...and everyone who was behind could this be....then as if I needed to snap out of the Devils Funk....I looked down and there was your bible...I just opened it as the young Dr. wrote some numbers on his chart....

The second part of Hebrews 13:5 was in front of me...."because God has said,

Never will I leave you,
never will I forsake you."

That was it....I instantly had a peace and knew we were coming home together....didn't matter what their charts said or their pain team said....that was it....

So I wanted to share this for someone Sun because I lost my focus in a moment of panic....and almost missed the curveball....but He was there....with comfort....and peace....across the pond....and it really was just He and I and His family no friends....You out of it....I went from losing my shit so to speak to finding His arms wide I wanted to remind everyone back here that as things come up which may seem bleak...may seem life or death...don't stay stuck in that moment of panic...God is with you....and if you refocus and reach will never be alone...and the challenges will be overcome...