SUNNY CARNEY
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, October 17, 2013

Almost A Year

SUNNY I LOVE YOU....its so hard to believe that we have been apart for almost a year...wow...I can't tell you enough that I miss you...because I know you feel it...I know that there is no turning back...I know that we look back on the time we had with you here and are thankful....but it still seems like a bad dream...I still expect Freddy Kreuger to bring you back...Nightmare on PA Ave....

I wasn't expecting or planning to have this conversation with you like this tonight...but while checking on the parent portal for the kids academic progress I came across the reminder that November 3 was the end to Daylight Savings Time....and it hit me...the irony...the fact that we were losing an hour of Sunshine on the day we lost our Sun....you still know how to get to me....thanks...

And as I sit here....Don't You Forget About Me comes on Pandora...really....really...sometimes I need to be reminded how much of a charmed life we had...sounds strange...without you for a year...yet I feel like we were so blessed to have had the run....that incredible journey of Faith Hope and Love...and Love is the greatest of them all...four letters that can't be rearranged to spell anything else...an emotion so strong that if you are lucky to have it....and get it back in return...wow...nothing matters....what else could? 

A year ago we were days away from Got Balls V....Wiffleball....I smile...we weren't stressing...we just trusted that although we had to push it back to 10.21.12 that the weather would cooperate...the teams would register...and to be honest...I remember laughing with you that we didn't care either way...your feet and ankles were so swollen...you had been through shingles...we had made it to Amy's wedding...it just was going to be what it was going to be....we prayed...we let it go...you weren't supposed to go...it was a cold morning...dew...fog...burned my lungs as we set up...you came...the announcement was made...Sunny is here...only staying for a few minutes...I never even got to do more than squeeze you for a photo op after Roz sang....I should have known...when I heard later...an hour at least...Sunny is still here...down at the pavilion...damn....as if you knew...you made me promise to do one more...Irish only do things in Sixes....I let you down...I promise we will do it in the spring...one last great Wiffleball tourney....don't care who the money goes to....neither did you...you made me promise and I still live with the feeling I didn't honor one of your last requests....

And before I move on....how blessed that whole event became...the help...the donations...the weather...the fun...the memories...frickin  Wiffleball...come on...I remember that first year...the panic when I had to redo the schedule for 60 teams...double elimination...hiding with Buzz daughters in a SUV redoing the posterboard...deciphering my handwriting for them...Happy and Tommy trying to find me...Mark more teams...what time do they play?  The baskets...so many donations for Chinese Auction...Kelly saying it was most she had ever seen...the beer wagon...wow...thank God for that...nothing buys time like a beer wagon....you giving the trophies out...what an amazing special day...

Firsts....I have heard that a lot the past year...I have said that a lot this  past year....but I am not going to pontificate on the firsts of this past year...we have already talked about that...or posted on FB....they hurt...they are empty...incomplete...I choose to remember our first date....our first kiss...our first Christmas...our first child...our first house...our first anniversary...our first move....our first dog...our first time at Hartwood Acres...our first trip to Disney as a family...(my first trip ever btw)....our first jobs...our first apartment...our first vacation to Florida you pregnant and swelling...(that theme came back)....our first time in San Diego...our first trip to Hillman...our first trip to Basel...our kids first day of school....turning 21 with you at Station Square and that stupid Sombrero you put on me for the Polaroid pic....thanks....still have it...our first ultrasound photo...the first kick of the gift inside of you...the first time I got to kiss you as man and wife...the first hug...the first...well you know....the first crazy Jennings family holiday....the first time you made Happy wear the Santa suit at the new house and he smelled like Billy Bob Thornton....the first time I brought you flowers to Pivik and made the PTA President feel like the Queen you were....I don't want to stop....but I think you and I both get it....celebrate those firsts...the others aren't firsts...they are milestones....well I guess they may be the boys and I firsts...but they aren't OUR firsts....so I don't celebrate them...

I can tell you that one thing I have learned the past year is that there is no telling or predicting what or when something will trigger a memory...evoke smiles...or tears....I try to hide them...its private...grieving really is like life...a roller coaster....I can vividly recall those last few days...damn photo memory...I don't have to reread the post...I never have...its been read and hopefully touched people over 5500 times....wow...but I regress....you will never be forgotten....you also will never be replaced...when people being well intentioned ask "how are you doing Mark?"...I answer "Fine"....that was our standard response I recall....but deep down I want to just shout out...."I am lonely...so Frickin lonely....you have no idea...I miss her so F-in much...."...but I don't ever do it...but I want to ...just once....

The things we...sorry stepped out back to regroup and after a rather crappy Sunless wet day here in da Burgh what appears to be a full moon appears...but clouds screaming in front of it...wisps not quite strong enough to diminish or erase....just speeding by...like angels on a 911 call....and I come back in...and Alive and Kicking is on Pandora....yep...Simple Minds twice....(I know sort of fitting in a way...shut up honey).....

The things we do or I guess I do now that you used to take care of have been illuminating...Logan's concussion...scary...making him do his eye exercises....and praying...yet today or I guess yesterday by now....noticed improvement...the boys needing more underwear dad....really?....how am I to know....homecoming dances....pictures that didn't quite measure up to your standards....Nolan bummed about not playing in baseball playoffs....Ace excited because he made several standout plays in his....Logan using your camera for his photography class....girlfriends....I think....you were the one they opened up to...you were the one who snooped through the phones...and texts...I am relying on man intuition...now there is an oxymoron....that Pirates playoff game though...that was a priceless night....yet I kept thinking....its great...and I am thankful...but someone was missing....I would have wheeled you up....

Not mastered the whole cooking thing yet....though have gotten decent at grocery shopping for value....have mastered laundry...damn these man-childs go through a lot of towels....but no clue as to how to iron...the dog misses his trips to the dog spa with you....I just do the vet...the house is still standing but it is a house that is down one...one Queen of Hearts...no full house...

So....I have had so many reach out and tell me how these "talks" of ours...or my FB posts help them which keeps me going to be honest...but last week I had a really special one...no names...but a certain 17 year old son from one of your best friends from the Field of Dreams sent me a note saying how he is inspired by us and to keep posting/writing....meant the world to me at that moment....you know who I am talking about....you get it....I always said I will do this regardless of how many read it but that feedback was awesome....thanks Ryan....

Anyways....its really late...or early I guess....I need to go pull the towels out of the dryer and fold em...down to one shower right now....and 5:45 is not far off for the man-childs wakeup time....

I LOVE U SUN....I MISS U....

ME