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

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Regis...Can I Use A Lifeline....I Call Sunny

Sunshine I Love You...Its been a few weeks...I have struggled with this talk....I have several drafts done but could never hit Publish...Today was fifteen months....damn...but not the reason for my using the "lifeline" tonight....I have accepted and get that you are up there....and better off...and that we were blessed with our time....and our love...and that I am not alone...but I feel loneliness....I feel empty a last night...sit down to watch the SB game and it just was a dud....hype...still an event...still a moment....but the moment was a letdown....I feel that way a lot lately....So I guess what finally got me off my ass so to speak to finish this talk of ours was a call today from another reporter....and as I shared our story for the umpteenth time...I found myself bragging again about how well the man-childs are doing....and I realized that a good chunk of it is because they have been able to continue to be blessed with teammates....friends they see and talk to every day....and ....girlfriends...they are pushed and challenged and interact meaningfully every day....

And thankful for that....because we are getting along fine....but at this age in their life they don't want to be too close to their old man....I get that...and I am so happy for them that they have been able to share their emotions with....well...a great group of friends....and the young ladies that have become regular parts of their day....

As for friends have lives to live....have their own challenges....Family....there....but also have their own lives to lead....and I get that....can't put it all on hold for the Carney Men....So I truly get it....not bitter....not the point once more....the point is....I have now a keen sense of what we had...and what I miss the most....Love....yea yea...but let me be more specific....I have no one to talk to with everyday about my plans for the goals....and I realize now how much you drove and pushed me....and that is gone....and working from was great and a blessing when we needed it to be the most....but now its a double edged sword....I can still and am still here for the man-childs if anything comes up....but without you to communicate with push share every detail with if need be....and get your input and thoughts...its also a downward spiral to Depression Drive...

There I said it...and yes there are days literally....not figuratively....especially since this cold kicked in...that the man-childs leave....I put the dog out....and then I shut down...for hours...its just easier sometimes to just want to try to drift off with thoughts of you than face a reality that is Sun-less...and when that happens....and I get up and force myself to make calls at the crack of 10  on those days....I feel guilty...and then it spirals....and I have to really struggle to move forward....never had that issue with you...and so I let this family down...and that adds on...well you get it....

And I see the man-childs and how well they seem to be adjusting....and I ask whats the difference?  And I pray....and I pray some more....and I keep coming back to the same conclusion...they have daily interaction with friends....and girlfriends....and it seems to help them...and I interact daily with God but I think He got bored with talking to Himself so that's why Adam and Eve yadda yadda yadda came to be....and I am not at all discounting or diminishing my relationship with Him...I wouldn't have made it this far quite frankly without it...

So we joked about "my moving on"...actually you had your list....which I hated the whole concept of...but what does that mean?....and when is it appropriate.....and what is appropriate....and do I ask the man-childs for their thoughts on the whole concept....what I do know is that I can't keep going on this way....the fat beagle is tired of me talking his ear off...I am starting to fall into a rut I fear...not wanting to have people over and not caring...heck I didn't even bother showering after the gym today....who the hell cares right????I know gross....but you get the point....I am so confused as to what to do....and since we are always brutally honest here in our talks...I get input from our friends...but I dismiss it.....not because they have never walked in my shoes...hell I haven't even walked in these shoes yet...but because if they just reached out and talked or hung out with me maybe I wouldn't be in this do I move on crossroads....

And another fear I have is the potential down the road to have to meet another family...I have two... mine...and yes the Jennings....and I am so thankful for all of them....and the idea of having to maybe meet another group...not ready I guess...but am I getting ahead of myself...I don't know...that's why I finally had to finish this talk with you....its so complicated....I am so conflicted....and I am so devoid of real emotional connections with people right now besides the man-childs of course...that I am afraid if something doesn't change in the near future I am going to fall over that precipice...

Ah shit....Sunny....can you give me some guidance here....answer the question....what is moving on????....

I need your help....or I am going to some way some how screw everything remember I have to read the question and you have to answer in like 30 seconds or something once old Regis says go....ready.....