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

Monday, January 13, 2014

Nolan Is 15....

Sunny....I Love You....We Love You....It is the little guys fifteenth Birthday...I wanted to say something special....something clever...something deep....I know he misses you....we all do...I know he would tell that he is doing good down here...I know he would tell you not to worry...I know he would tell you how much you meant to him and I am certain he would tell you how much he Loves You....and so....instead of doing something clever....I just did something from the heart...his heart....I am going to let him tell you in his words...I found the "Speech For Nolan"....i.e...his personal thoughts written with no input from me that he stood up and read to you in front of 500 or so people at your funeral service....I can't do any better....and its his two should talk...I Love You...

So here it is....

Hello everyone, my name is Nolan Carney and I am Sunny’s youngest son. I would first like to say thank you to all of you for coming today, and for all the support and love that I have received in the past few days (even though it feels like months). I bet that most of you are wondering how my family and I have remained so strong through this time, and I can only thank God for giving us such a loving community. I have received so many text messages and my facebook has been blowing up due to all the encouraging and heart-warming words that mean more to me than I can say. A lot of people have been asking me how I was doing, and the only way to describe this feeling is the Pink Floyd song Comfortably Numb. You older guys know what I’m talking about. To put things into perspective I still can’t believe she’s gone. It seems like just yesterday she was nagging at me to pick the clothes up on my bedroom floor. Now I’m not going to stand up here and pretend that losing a mother, and a best friend, is easy. But I can promise you that all you guys are making it so much easier. As I look around the room and see all the people that my mom has touched it makes me smile, and I know that she is smiling right by my side. Each one of you owns a special spot in her heart, as well as mine, Austen’s, Logan’s, and my dad’s. I’ve been told that losing a loved one is like a new chapter in the book of life, but I disagree. I feel that it is a new book in the series of life. A sequel that may not be as good or exciting as the first, but will definitely keep you turning the pages for more. Some of the highlights of the first book; my very first memories of her taking us to Target and letting us pick out any hot wheels car that we wanted (from the dollar section of course), the first wiffleball tournament and seeing how many people loved us and supported us and her fight, Buying us each an ornament (including our dog, Oscar) ever year for Christmas. Some of the plot twists; being told my mom had 4 to 6 months to live, seeing her everyday for 4 years after that, and of course, her death. I always like to say that she turned four months into four years. And what a 4 years it was. I know that she left this Earth young, but if you look at what she’s accomplished, she doesn’t seem like a 42 year old. She truly has left all of her footprints in concrete. For those of you that don’t know what I mean when I say that, I would like to read you a poem by Mary Stevens that has inspired her through the roughest of times.

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.

             Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.

                  In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.

                       Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,

                           other times there were one set of footprints.


                                  This bothered me because I noticed

                                that during the low periods of my life,

                             when I was suffering from

                         anguish, sorrow or defeat,

                     I could see only one set of footprints.


          So I said to the Lord,

      "You promised me Lord,

         that if I followed you,

             you would walk with me always.

                   But I have noticed that during

                          the most trying periods of my life

                                 there have only been one

                                       set of footprints in the sand.

                                           Why, when I needed you most,

                                          you have not been there for me?"


                                 The Lord replied,

                          "The times when you have

                  seen only one set of footprints,

          is when I carried you."

One of the many messages that I took from this poem, and my mom, is that you can always rely on God, no matter what your “cancer” is. I say cancer because to my mom always said that everyone has a cancer; whether it is cancer itself, or if it is an addiction, a hard time, or an unforgivable past. Whatever your cancer is, you must use it as a way to inspire others, like my mom did, and to turn a negative thing for you into a positive for others. So every time you feel down, upset, or in any type of pain, think of my mom. Think of how she chose to live her life. Think of how much she has accomplished.

Sorry if I am getting off track here, but I want to take a minute and talk about my past. My mom has, and always will have, the biggest impact on my life. Me and her were close. Go ahead and hate, but yes, I was a bit of a mommas boy. I remember when I was little and she convinced me to go to a charity event at river view for cancer, not hers though. I thought she was crazy and was probably on some pretty strong medicine when she said she wanted to spend her Saturday morning at a charity for something that had no impact on us, but that was typical Sunny. Long story short we went, just me and her, and we had the best time. After that we went to many more fundraisers and church events and had a good time everytime. Those are the thing that she made sure we did. I will never forget a couple years ago when I asked her what we were going to do when your cancer is gone, and we don’t need to have anymore fundraisers. She looked at me and said,’’ Nolan, we are still going to have fundraisers, but we are going to do it for other people.” So what ever you guys do, don’t stop being there for others, don’t stop going to fundraisers and charity events, and most importantly, don’t ever forget what she taught you.

Another big impact she had on me was she got me started on music. I will never forget the smile on her face when I told her I wanted to play guitar. She got so excited and bought me all the stuff I needed and gave it to me for Christmas. She always would encourage me to stick with it, and I can’t tell you how happy I am that I did. Music is my way to escape, to forget about life, and to express my emotions through song.

The last thing I would like to say is thank you all so so much. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I would say it some more but my brother is waiting to use the computer right now to write his speech, but seriously, thank you. Don’t ever forget her, don’t ever forget the loved ones that you all have lost, and most importantly, live everyday as if it were you last. Sunny’s Team forever!

Thursday, January 2, 2014


Sunshine....I Love You...its so hard to believe that another new year is here without you...we rang it in with family and friends....but it wasn't the same...tried...but not having you to run my hands through your thick retire late to bed and go to hold you and not have you say...."move over you stink..." not hear your not have you organizing the events...the noisemakers....the toasts....the hugs for the boys...these holidays are still incredibly hard....puts things in perspective...I am not angry or jealous of those who have loved ones to share this time of year with....its not their fault...but I do feel a vast void where YOU used to be...Love ripped away....Love all in....and now lost...its an empty sensation although I put the game face on knowing that my New Year is just further taking me away from you....I know its impossible but if I could I would rather hit rewind than would be with us....with me....and I could see those dancing green eyes and big grin one more time...

Will I ever Love again?.....I must admit I am afraid of answering that question....there is no right answer....just a shitty one that I have to make...

This talk isn't about me feeling sorry for myself though baby...I am not alone though I am lonely...but its not the end of the world....I just read that January is Give Thanks I want to switch gears or tracks or whatever now....and I just want to say "Thanks"...for all of the wonderful memories of these holidays you helped create....for all of the extreme effort you extolled to make sure that the man-childs and I had the best of this time of year....for going the extra great pains I know at the end to make certain that the meaning of the season was grasped....memories....

I am thankful for every New Year we rang in together...I am trying my damnedest to fight back tears now...because I really miss you tonight...its snowing and its freezing cold out...and this is exactly the kind of night you would have wanted to cuddle up....I just hope that those that read this appreciate the value of just cuddling wrap my arms tightly around those little shoulders and hips of yours....oh well....I have wonderful memories....seared in my heart....not my brain...

I have a lot to Give Thanks for this I started tonight....I will continue...but I think now I will just stop....because honestly...I am not in a "Give Thanks"  mood right now...just being honest babe....I can't always put the happy "boy life sure is swell...." face on...because you know that yes we are moving on....and yes we get that you are better off....and we get a little better each day...but you know what....this time of year can still suck....losing you hits hard....real hard...I just really really want to hold and kiss you one more time...2014....

thanks....for getting through 2013....but saying "Happy f-ing New Year 2014"....still felt like an incomplete existence...shouldn't????.....I am getting better but to those who don't know....sorry....but it is what it is....not a whole family New Year picture...not yet....hopefully someday....hopefully....but until then....don't judge....don't suggest therapy....don't say get over it Mark....just don't....

You were my were my were my life....and it just hits hard this time of year....