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, February 7, 2013
Faithfully Giving--Sunny's Words Revisited
How would you know that three years to the day on Saturday night the boys and I would be at a fundraiser for Lorri Nixon to help in her fight....how could you know that the t-shirt with you and Kristin and her would have only one fighter left just months after the t-shirts were made....how could you know that your last sunset photo and signed book would still help others...it was an amazing night...the snow was falling hard(I know snow again...but we haven't had much of a break from the stuff)....the folks from Plum once again stepped up and Consciously Gave...braving bad roads...on a Saturday night...I know at least six hundred came through the senior center to eat spaghetti...to bid on Chinese Auction baskets, buy bracelets, candy, and to just offer support to Tom and the girls....there were so many possible excuses people could have used to not come...but come they did...watching our boys have fun...and hang with their friends and Heidi for three hours and not once ask to leave or when is it over....it was frickin awesome....Tom told me how amazing it was....I said wrong word...having experienced the generousity of this community and the love it has I wasn't nor could I ever again be amazed....I said humbling....thats the word....its humbling to know that you are not alone in lifes journey....
So as I look back on our journey and reflect Sun I am humbled....I am humbled by the fact that I was able to share a life with you for as long as we had....you were my angel here on earth...everyday was Valentines Day....who needed the 14th of February...I am humbled with the knowledge that you lived without worrying about yourself.....sure we prayed and searched out every possible treatment but it was never for you...it was you wanting to be for us and to Consciously Give of yourself....thats why you did what you did...I am humbled by the support we continue to receive to this day....I am humbled seeing the blessing that was just shared with the Nixon family and to know that this community has rallied once again around a family in need....I am humbled with the knowledge that He still watches over this house....as much as I try to screw it up He just doesn't quit on us....Thanks....
So I repeat your challenge from three years ago....I am going to Consciously Give of myself today....and then again the next day....and so forth...and I challenge everyone who still listens in to our little talks here to do the same....Lets keep your vision going....lets keep your message going....its a great way to live....to give.
Please continue to pray for Lorri and her family....she is in pain..the cancer is tough...please pray for Karen and Noah...please pray for the Gunsalles family...please pray for Mandy's dad who starts a new chemo regime....please pray for Kylee and her family as they take the same steps we do....and please keep praying for us...the boys and I need it....please pray for Timmy and Jamie's new son...if I overlooked anyone I am sorry....let me know and I will add you to the list...We miss you Sunshine but we were truly blessed to have shared you....you are da best...
I LOVE U ALWAYS SUNNY