A young Polish woman now living in Kirriemuir is hoping to start the new year off in a positive manner by continuing her fund-raising effort for her desperately ill young brother.

Magdalena Piekarczyk, who works as a legal secretary with Wilkie and Dundas in the town, has endured the heart-break of watching her young brother Piotr fight for his life after he was involved in a head-on-collision with a car whilst he was riding his bicycle near his home in Krakow.

At the time the popular 17-year-old had just completed his first year studying sports at college, but the football and basketball fanatic was left severely disabled after a major trauma to his head.

Last September we reported on Magdalena's efforts and those of her parents to provide the funds for 24-hour care for the young man, who had hoped to go on to study law.

A special committee named "Come Back To Us" was set up in Krakow to work on Piotr's behalf to meet the costs of his care.

At that time Magdalena described Piotr as "a boy with a future before him."

"He has always been a talented, fascinating, cheerful and happy child. He attended Sport School and was one of the best pupils.

"After the accident he was in a coma. Operations saved his life but damage to a big part of his brain means he is now learning again from the start the basic functions and also to speak and walk."

Since then she has been overwhelmed by the warmth and support she has had from the people of Kirriemuir, many of whom have given anonymous donations, and she has plans for the new year.

The Rotary Club of Kirriemuir made a generous donation to help fund the care Piotr received in a specialist clinic and now, three months on, Magdalena has organised two fund-raisers in the hope of boosting his treatment for the new year.

Speaking as she was preparing to travel back to Poland on Boxing Day, returning on January 4, Magdalena said a raffle was to be held in the Kirriemuir Co-op in the town centre on Saturday, January 8.

She reported Piotr had made a "slight progress" but that he had suffered a major set-back with an infection in his bones.

He is currently living at home where is father is now his full-time carer, but he has to travel every day to a clinic for rehabilitation.

Magdalena said: "I have to thank the people of Kirriemuir so much for their donations. The money has gone towards the costs of his rehabilitation.

"We are taking every day at a time. One day Piotr is making progress, the next day he struggles. He got a bad infection in the bones in his head. There was nothing the doctors could do but luckily his brain is okay."

In an attempt to meet the continuing costs of Piotr's treatment, Magdalena and a friend have organised the raffle which has a television, kindly donated by Colin M. Smith, as the main prize.

Other gifts are now also being donated and the raffle will run from 9.30 am until late afternoon.

Anyone wishing to donate prizes can contact Magdalena on 0787 197 0202 when she returns from Poland on January 4.

Magdalena added: "In the spring time we are also hoping to hold a coffee morning in the Kirriemuir and Old Parish Church Hall."