The Plum community lost a bit of sunshine on Saturday.
Sunny Carney of Plum passed away peacefully Saturday, Nov. 3, after a courageous 10-year fight battling carcinoid cancer.
According to the Carcinoid Cancer Foundation, carcinoid cancer and related neuroendocrine tumors are small, slow growing tumors found mostly in the gastrointestinal system, but can be in other parts of the body such as the pancreas and the lung.
Carney has inspired many family, friends, community members and other carcinoid cancer patients around the world with her blog and 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.
The community got together on numerous occasions to raise money for the Sunny Carney Carcinoid Cancer Fund. Tomorrow, Nov. 4, at 8:30 a.m., the "Miles of Smiles" 5K at the Boyce Park ski lodge will be held. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the fund. (A photo gallery can be found here.)
Carney 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 (Ray Jr.) Phillips, Lynn (Teddy) Pesta, Michael (Vicki Lynn) Jennings, James (Sue) Jennings, Joseph (Elizabeth) Jennings and Sheila (Jim) Fortes; sister-in-law of Craig (Julia) Carney. She is also survived by numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews and was a true friend and inspiration to many.
She fought with grace and dignity, never letting the pain inside challenge her faith or diminish her love for life.
In her second to last blog post, Carney encouraged others to leave their positive marks on the world—concrete footprints—after a friend told her she had made a difference in so many lives via her book, blog and many speeches.
"I don't want all the footprints that I worked to hard to make get washed away by a wave," she wrote. "That wave to me is a symbol of hard times. I want to leave FOOTPRINTS IN CONCRETE. I WANT MY BOYS TO BE ABLE TO FEEL MY FOOTPRINTS ON THEIR HEARTS.
"My question to you all is where are you leaving your footprints? Take my journey the last 4 1/2 years and continue. Leave some footprints for me. Continue this journey."
Friends will be received from 7 to 9 p.m. Monday, Nov. 5, and 3 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6, at Unity Community Church, 215 Unity Center Road, in Plum.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 7, at Unity Community Church with the Rev. Frank Deluce officiating.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Charles W. Trenz Funeral Home in Penn Hills. Memorials may be made to "Carney Family Fund", c/o S&T Bank, 2190 Hulton Road, Verona, PA 15147 (Plum Borough).