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

Friday, February 8, 2013

Laughing With My Sun

Sunshine I LOVE U....and you know what I am feeling like we should share some laughs...a whole bunch of em....its been a tough week to last ten know....lights are flickering (damn power surges) is reminding me why we don't feed pets too much people food as he snores next to me...the ants somehow made it inside the dishwasher....(nuked the heck out of them with a hot cycle...) ripped the railing out of the wall on Sunday....(damn 16 year olds with balance none of that...kept checking....)....door fell off one of your new cabinets....(yep mr. handy will take his third attempt at it or just can Dan....)....Xmas tree still up to Monday....but its only half lit now for some reason....(its like Swiss Baptist Orthodox Leap Year isn't it....and isn't that when we take it down?).....the Denali is thump thump thumping when there is no roadkill....(yeah already called Jim)....and I sure am popular with these 800 and 866 callers that like to ring and not leave a friendly hello...oh you can see honey....who cares?....I saw the best sunset tonight....but I gave today....redid several friends resumes....gave a pick me up boost to an older gentleman who was filling his tires at Sheetz but was struggling and so I bucked up and did it....(no the tires didn't explode...funny....)...I can't tell you it was a perfect day....but there is no such thing down here...that is saved for where you are at....but even with all of the little things that tried to drag me back into the morass of that depressed cesspool I wasn't Jimmy Stewart...the damn stair bannister didn't matter....the bills don't matter...they will still be there...(yes I still pay them but sometimes we spin the old bill roulette the old days....)....what it matters is that life is worth celebrating....its our gift...its our chance every time the sun rises to make a difference in someone elses never know never know better just be thats why I just put the happy face on this morning....and kept it on...its easier that way and between you and I laughter and finding humor in things comes easy....(sssshhhh..I know .....its not a big secret) I started to think back through our wonderful journey of twenty plus years and we shared a laugh or two...and I thought what better to talk about tonight than to recall some of those special moments and here goes Sunshine...lets share some laughs....I love your smile...the laughter in those dancing green eyes always melted my heart...

So lets go back to apartment....I am going to make us a quick dinner before we head to Pitt to show up as I am making gourmet Mac and Cheese....a 20 year old Kraft Virgin who as you entered the kitchen door and saw my masterpiece you just lost it...tears you laughed so hard....apparently you don't dump milk, water, cheese packet and noodles in all at once....the water has to boil first, then noodles, then was a clump of crap that was beyond saving....and we had Mineos instead on the I guess it wasn't a complete disaster...staying with early food theme....remember how you and your mother set me up with the last hamburger the first time I was invited for dinner at the "wardens" house.....had one..we all had one...he says he is full...go ahead Mark...your mom and you say the same thing...I go for it...and hear for the next six years how "baggy pants" ate Jim's last hamburger....glad someone got a kick out of it....

Remember how you tested me out to see if I was good with always knew at some point you wanted a big family....I was the oldest of were so hot I wanted to try try try (you get the point)...but kids were the farthest thing from my mind at that we always had Trish, Jimmy, and/or Jesse James (Happy and Sue's kids) with us...I swore you would call and say Hey Hap...we are going here or there do you want us to grab the kids....specifically the time we had Jesse and Jimmy at the McDonalds by Century III with the big new indoor showing off climbing through with them....probably four and two....Jesse takes a dump in his training whatever the hell they were called back put me in charge for some God only knows reason of taking him in and helping him go...because of course he said...have to go...not telling us he had went...rat....I take him...damn...I come back out you are sending me back into plastic funland because in the meantime Jimmy had gotten into something with some local kids....outnumbered....whatever...I wasn't sure how a simple Big Mac meal had gone so south...that was the hit of Thanksgiving the spring we took Trish and Jimmy to Ohiopyle....we get there...beautiful day...perfect spot on the river...swimming....doing natural rock slide...I brought the Rolling Rock for brought for the kids....nothing..."thought you had it...."...."you saw me stop at Six Pack Shack...."  oh we laugh now to this was either dirty river water as you put it....or healthy swigs from Pale 33....probably go to jail for it the Irish medal for it then....

Remember the annual trek out to cut down Xmas trees we used to take with buddies and Cass and the gang....two dozen....from 21 year olds to Aunts....started at Silkys....and just kept going...all the way out by Star Lake or whatever its called this week....the last time we went...all of us piled in the back of the hay cart thing a mig jiggy being pulled by the Amish guy on the John sole family with a little kid...and all of us idiots...drinks in hand..."lets get a picture....everyone over to that side..."....not a good idea considering the weight typically topples such hay cart thing a mig jiggy's when its all on one side....blam...poor family....some of us laughing because we didn't spill our drinks...Amish Abe yelling something...leaving us there...cursing in some way under his breath....kid crying as they left us....probably still scarred by the Greenfield Gang of idiots....Charlie Brown had a more successful tree trip than that one....

Forward to our wedding night...come back to the hotel after hitting Kings in Waterworks at 3:00 AM like ten of our tuxedos and you still in your gown....(by the way....the most precious bride ever were unbelievable...Di called Charles and said I wish I looked like her)....Your brother gets tired of waiting so he goes back in his tux and starts making eggs...somehow we don't get kicked out or arrested....we get back to the hotel....there is one of our dear friends and now his thank God crazy ex...exchanging lots of vile words....and she is kicking him....outside Hap and Sue's room which is right across from our suite...holy crap we laughed our ass off as he went hopping down the got of your cousins...shall remain nameless....they party in the living room of our suite....she gets sick and is on the balcony well you know....saying hello to the flowers and shrubs and stuff....I just wanted to help you take off that dress as you recall...."stop...go check on her...she may fall into the weeds...."....."we are like five feet above ground....its not even a balcony...its a porch...come on."....lost that battle...and the first night....thanks nameless cousin....

So I move forward....( I know I could have talked about Cinq's Stanley Cup head shaving...or losing Jimmy at Geauga Lake...or But Ya...or so many others....)....lets go to the we are young parent portion of our journey....three kids....two adult....(even when I was had the sense...)....stay at home mom....three in Greenfield at first....Ace was four and change when we moved out here to Plum, so Logan was three and a half and Nolan was two and slightly less than a half....rambuctious as heck...always a handful as boys are....(you finally realized we weren't getting that girl...)....I remember getting the call at work are on the cordless phone...pre-cell I think...locked out on the back small steps to lower deck....and no way in...and Austen inside the door laughing his little toukas off at mommy....mommy not sharing the 911...great...he only wanted to meet firemen...which he did...all of your old Greenfield buddies from the station three blocks away....guys at the office pissed their pants.....not the only time we got to meet the local fire crew though....remember swimming lessons on Sunday mornings at the JCC....we used to get in the pool with them....Austen was able to swim with the little wings by then and I had Logan....and you held Nolan...after changing all three damn I used to love that....hiding from me in lockers....moving older gentlemens clothes so they couldn't find them...three on one...that was there was that stairway with the rails leading down to the racquetball courts....our guys liked to watch the action up close as they could...and our two older ones were blessed with big noggins....and still had them at that age...and got stuck....and stuck isn't the right word...their heads through the rails....Squirrell Hill Station 6 Jaws of Life cutting through rails to get them out....JCC didn't really want us taking more swimming lessons as I recall....

Then comes the little three angels are in pre-K , preschool, and at home....attending Redeemer Lutheran because it was close....we put new Pergo floors in...all furniture out of the big room....perfectly shaped like a hockey rink in a way I guess...cold morning...hose hooked up....somehow you get distracted....I get the call at work..."guess what your boys did now..."(the guys loved those calls by the way in the bullpen office....and with monitoring available....)....they decided to make an ice rink....hose turned on through the open...Nolan being tossed on floor like human Zamboni to see if it was frozen yet....floors take them to get groceries at Giant Eagle and I get the call...."guess what you son did just now...."  and yep apparently when you have to go you have to go....all over the fresh meats at the deli counter while mom waits for her number to be called..."excuse me maam is that your son...I think he has to use the bathroom...." that was an understatement and also a wrong answer...he was done....(we laughed our ass off btw at the office....)....then same child does self portrait for Lutheran preschool and while attempting to draw a stick figure black scooter for his stick figure portrait gets us called in because it looked looked like he was an African American 4 year old porn star....they said they were going to pray for us....

The same scooters accompany us to  trip to Nashville..Gaylord and your mom and the boys have the run of the $500 a night place while I work the conference...apparently the many acres under that big roof aren't open to scooter riding....didn't stop our boys....or you when the manager said to said fix the pool....and ride ride ride they did....tore up the place...or at the Yacht Club in Disney at another conference....we were staying at the Boardwalk...but the Yacht Club had a pool with sand on the took all of them over and as I walk out of a lunch I hear...."excuse me miss....but your boys are going to have to stop burying each other in the bottom of the pool...."....why?   I didn't hear the response to your question but I laughed because that poor schmuck had no clue...nor did the boat rental were the best mom the time in Vero at your mothers place in the pool as I swam with the boys....all potty trained but Nolan still wearing "swimmers.."...and the sign marked no diapers in pool....etc....and the busybody comes in and starts yapping....and you say..."just worry about your own kids are all potty trained..."....I still laugh out loud just thinking shit to your baby boys...

And more recently.....just the past year....Lynn takes you to the agree to use a wheelchair...she must be a newbie at spend half of your shopping spree time stuck in various clothes racks as she pushes you a little too far and then wanders off....we laughed at the vision of you yelling for your blond sister stuck in dresses not your size....and well....funny toots...and the day before mothers day when we did all of the family photos....Laura came up....we used the front of the house at first...the Rhodadedrons...(don't care about spelling....the big blooming pink flowers)...and the bench...and Logan jumps up mid shoot and goes something is biting me...and yep..he had found the one colony of red ants...and had shorts on....and had taken one for the team....we laughed our butts off....

Anyways Sun....there are so many more memories which I cherish....these are ones which I hold really dear...the kind you tell friends about over a fire with a know...oh yeah....I can beat that....listen to what happened  this one time....great stuff....hope someone who is down in the dumps and needs a pick me up sees this....