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

Thursday, February 21, 2013

What Kind of Impact Do We Make?

Sunshine...I LOVE U....Its been a hard couple of days...A few of our dear friends have been reaching out and telling me the same thing that I have been feeling...they miss you...I have learned that it comes and goes...that feeling of intensely missing the waves of the ocean rising and falling...driven in this case by an emotional tide...high tides....low tides...yet always another one coming...and so I read some of the footprint notes from your funeral...what people remembered the most about you....what people wanted to have your legacy be....what personal footprint you made in their path of life's journey....I won't get into personal details because its not really important here for our talk here....suffice to say you made a positive impact on many by letting Him use you despite whatever pain or fears you had in doing so....

So that brings me to the subject of our talk tonight...What kind of impact will I leave?  Will each of us leave?  Will we be the positive node of the battery or the negative?  Will we be the person that others will be better off having come across or will we be a negative force pulling others down?  Will our presence be a calming influence to others in their storms or will they be better off in the midst of their storms if we leave? we walk with God and exude and share the peace He gives us or does our own situation render us a liability to others?  Where am I going with all of this?

I went back over the weekend to the story of Jonah....and the story from Matthew Ch 9 of Jesus asleep on the boat with the disciples....both stories have its two main characters asleep in the midst of raging deadly seas....both are we know Jonah was running from the fact he had shared this with the crew of the boat he was we know the disciples were chosing to follow the Lord...thats why they had set sail with Jesus that we know that Jonah's choice to board that boat ultimately endangered the life of every crew member of that vessel...they were tossing their cargo to try to stay afloat....their were trying to fix the problem themselves...not only did Jonah fall asleep...they couldn't even immediately turn to him and ask him at first to pray...only after waking him and asking him why....why was he there?  why was he running from his Lord....and why had he doomed them to certain death by his mere thats a message some of us "Christians" send out...we are perceived rightfully so not as calming influences tapped into Him...but as rebel rousers who bring strife and no one really wants around....he tells them to throw him overboard....he will make them safer by not being with many times are people better off if we leave them to their own many times do we beg off helping others and simply punt like Jonah and say "get rid of will be better off without me in your life?"....

Contradict that with the message Jesus sends when He is awakened by the disciples who want desperately His full presence and attention....they are blessed because He is there with them....Does He reprimand them on their lack of faith...sure does....but He doesn't abandon them...they aren't worse off with Him fact their lives are saved literally because He was with them....

So what or should I say who are we going to be like?  Jonah...running...a liability to those around him as he deals with his own struggles....ignoring the calling of God and thus effectively neutered as far as helping fact so struggling actually causing stress and potential peril to those around us...each of our choices impacting negatively others...with potentially dire results....or do we model ourselves after Jesus....a calming influence to those in our life...those that need help...the help that comes through us via Him...WELL?

I know I have been trying hard to make footprints when the opportunity arises....but sometimes I still get wrapped up like Jonah in my own little flight....and I miss the chances I shouldn't...Pray that I do a better job at it....please Sunshine....

And while you are it please keep praying for the boys...they are doing well on the surface but we miss you....pray for the Nixons and Kylee and her family....pray for Nick F who busted his arm pretty good yesterday skiing...pray for Susan and her family and Mandy and her family as they deal with recent losses...pray for Pastor's grandson...pray for Timmy's new baby....pray for everyone who I overlooked but has reached out....pray for financial blessings on this family and our house....