Emotional fundraiser for hospital Tadcaster’s much-loved Sonny Lang held dear

Sonny and Marianne (s)
Sonny and Marianne (s)

Some of Sonny Lang’s closest friends will raise money for the hospital she ‘held close to her heart’ before losing her life to Cystic Fibrosis in February.

Marianne Wragg, 24, and her team of around 25 runners, are aiming to raise money for St James’s Hospital by taking on the Leeds 10k in July. 

Sonny and Marianne became close friends over the years after first meeting at Tadcaster Albion’s home ground when Sonny worked behind the club’s bar. 

The pair formed such a close friendship in that time that, in January, Marianne asked Sonny to be a bridesmaid at her wedding in 2017.

Sadly, the incredibly popular former Tadcaster Grammar School student lost her life-long battle with Cystic Fibrosis, just one month later aged 23. 

Since her death, the Tadcaster community has united to celebrate her life, even managing to name the town’s new footbridge in her memory. 

Marianne is now hoping to raise awareness and funds for St James’s Hospital, the place where Sonny battled the condition for years.

She said: “I spoke to her mother Anna and she said Sonny would want the money to go to St James’s as she grew up with everyone working and visiting the ward.

“She was always so close to the doctors and nurses there that made her life that little bit easier. It holds a special place in her heart. 

“Not many of us will ever know the depths these people go too, to make sure everyday is as easy as it can be. 

“We want to now raise awareness for the place Sonny saw as a second home. With the people she loved so dearly.”

It’s been four months since Sonny lost her life to Cystic Fibrosis and Marianne explained that her personality and spirit is still deeply missed around Tadcaster. 

Hundreds of Sonny’s friends and family gathered to celebrate her life at her funeral and as many turned out to Tadcaster Albion to watch ‘Sonny’s Bridge’ officially open.

Marianne said she wasn’t surprised by the town’s reaction to Sonny’s death as she ‘touched so many people’s lives’ during her time.  

She said: “Sonny used to light the room up and the faces of everyone in it.

“We were so close but you didn’t realise how incredible she was until she’d gone. She was going through so much but she could never do enough for other people.

“She never let any problem affect her and she was always caring and loving. She had an unbelievable beauty, both inside and out. Everyone in Tadcaster loved Sonny.

“You were so much happier when she was around and I don’t think you can ever really forget someone like that. None of us would ever want to either.”

Marianne and her team will run the Leeds 10k on Sunday, July 10, and you can donate to her page on www.justgiving.com/fundraising/RunForOurSonny