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Marten's story and his struggle with cerebral palsy
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Monday 30th July 2012



The inventor

Leonid Blyum,

The central quest at the heart of ABR is the search for a ‘peacenick’s’ way of helping kids with Cerebral Palsy. For centuries and until the present day Cerebral Palsy has been treated by the ‘hawks’ – with forceful interventions such as stretching, splints, casts, poison injections, surgery… all the while without much progress to show for those invasive and harsh interventions.

I deeply and passionately disagree with the ‘hawkish’ approach. I find the ‘hawkish’ tunnel vision of ‘fighting against’ the perceived enemies: spasticity, contractures, deformities etc. – being fundamentally flawed because it completely misses out on addressing weaknesses and deficiencies.

My motto in Cerebral Palsy is very simple: “Stop fighting – start building” – and do it as passionately and with as much determination as when you were fighting”. ABR is a ‘peacenick’s’ way for children with Cerebral Palsy where the techniques are non-invasive and aimed at building new strengths and abilities. Sure enough, the peacenick way in Cerebral Palsy is not for everyone – it takes patience, determination, attention to detail and, first and foremost, a firm conviction in saying an unambiguous “No” to using brute force on your child. However, for those who make the peacenick’s choice– it’s well worth it. It’s really inspiring to see how thanks to ABR and the work of parents the life of a quadriplegic child transforms from struggling and suffering to being happy and thriving…’

Sunday 29th July 2012


My Facebook friend, Paul McNaughton, had added 2 new events for this coming Saturday4th August. The first is a Bag Pack at Tesco, Silverburn. This will take place between 11.00am and 1.00pm and we need lots of volunteers to pack bags, shake buckets and look pretty! For more information have a look at my "Events" page.

* * * * *


The second event is a public strip waxingSound painful? It will be! But don't worry Zippy won't feel a thing! It's that man Paul McNaughton again!

If you like MAN PAIN this is your chance! Come along and experience his pain first hand. Better still, encourage your friends along so they can join in the fun! This public humiliation will take place in the foyer between Tesco and Silverburn Shopping Centre, this Saturday, 4th August, at 1.30pm and will go on until he runs out of hair - or blood! Paul is donating every penny he earns for his follicles to Marten's Progress, so why not get as many of your friends there and make a day of it. See my "Events" page for more details.


It's Saturday so it must be Ben Lomond! Yesterday, Saturday 28th July, another group of climbers took to the slopes of Ben Lomond in aid of Marten's Progress. The group, of about 10, were made up some who couldn't make it on 9th June and also a few new faces. These included Marten's wee pal, Pammy, who was suffering from a broken bum the last time and marten's cousin, Luule, who came all the way from Estonia just to see what a mountain looked like!

Well done and thanks to everyone concerned - We'll publish the photos as soon as we get them.


We're pleased to announce that Marten continues to take great strides along the road to a better life. In the last week he has started to pull his head forward to drink from his bottle; now pulls himself up the bed to get more comfortable; reached out to grab his favourite toy by the handle and dragged it in to himslef, and has started to pull his head up when lying on his tummy with a cushion under his chest.

All these advances have taken place in the last 7 days and yet again are testimony to the positive effects of his ABR therapy. So, to everyone who has taken part in sponsored walks, Zumba, music concerts and other events, or who has simply thrown a couple of coins in a bucket - this is what your money buys. Keep up the good work!


Hi Folks, 

I've been busy, and so have many of you as see from above! I'm always ready to listen and willing to oblige. A few of you have been saying that you found it a bit difficult to navigate my website - so I've made a number of changes:

(i) My front page, the "News" page, is now on a monthly rolling basis. This means that I can update my own front page even if I only have one new story to tell as the new stories in any month simply go to the top of the page. When the month is finished I will create another wee tab on the left hand side and store the old information there. Then the whole process repeats itself. Hopefully, we'll be able to keep the website more up to date that way;

(ii) I've amalgamated the "Events" and the old "Calendar' pages. Everything is now contained in events and will be in strict chronological order (with the first event placed at the top) on the left hand side of the page. Other events that we don't yet have an exact date for will appear in the right hand side of the page until the date is confirmed;

(iii) I've added a "Recent Videos" section to keep all my new stuff together. Each time a new video is created I'll put it to the bottom of of that page so that you can see the progress as it happens. the "Recent Videos" tab is on the right hand side of this page just under my photograph;

(iv) There's also a new "Pictures" page that I'm in the process of creating. This will hold my photographs together in specific events in date order. The "Pictures" tab is also on the right hand side of this page;

(v) There's now a new donate section on the right hand side and the options for donation have been increased to include: debit cards, credit cards, direct transfer, standing order and, of course, good old fashioned cash, and

(vi) You can click on my "E-mail" and "Facebook" links on the right hand side and "Hey Presto" you're through - brilliant.

I hope you like my new look site. I've updated a lot of content and will be adding more in the coming days and weeks.  Remember if you've any ideas or suggestions just get in touch and I'll see what I can do.

Your wee boy,


Sunday 22nd July 2012


It's been such a long time since the site was updated that it's hard to know where to start. Since then Marten (and his brother Erik) have spent over two weeks in Estonia, mainly in a seaside town called Pärnu in southern Estonia. During his stay he took time out to travel north to meet the many uncles, aunties and cousins (many of whom he had never seen before) and also his Great Auntie Asta, who lives in Tallinn.

Pärnu - July 2012
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The weather was pretty good (the locals were complaining because it rained a few times - we told them in our part of the world light rain counted as a good summer) and the boys were out in the shorts and t-shirts most of the time. Singificantly, Marten made progress on a number of fronts.


It's now more than a year since Marten's parents were told that he was lactose intolerant and that he had to stay away from dairy products. Believing that his intolerance was most likely linked to the profound weaknesses that existed in Marten's abdominal area and an immature gut (caused by hs cerebral palsy) Marten's parents had over the last couple of months gradually started to introduce small amounts of lactose to his diet. On holiday Marten was faced with a whole range of diary foods that you simply can't get in this country and mum and dad decided to let him try them. 

First up was mum's old childhood favourite "kohopiim". Kohopiim is best translated into English as "curds or quark" - like in the cheese making process. These curds though are flavoured and also come with a thin layer of chocolate round them. Marten simply LOVED kohopiim - and he had no adverse reaction to it. He also started eating porridge made with full fat cow's milk and even tried unpasteurised milk as well - no reaction. He had cheese, juustukook (cheesecake), sour cream, cream, yoghurt, yogurtikook (yoghurt cake), kohopiim cake and straight forward milk - all with NO adverse reaction whatsoever. Now, after arriving home, Marten now drinks milkshakes of all flavours with NO problem whatsoever! As a consequence, Marten's special diet milk replacement (which smelt of old fish) has been returned to the chemist and his soya and hazelnut drinks have been left on the supermarket shelves!


Kohopiimakook    Kohopiim Bar        Justukook           Jogurtikook


Most significantly of all Marten made progress on the movement front. The following videos show Marten not only examining his hand and fingers (something he has been doing for a few weeks now) but also watching his toes, feet and legs. Indeed, it is clear by the second video that he is enjoying the new power he is starting to exercise over his own movements. All of a sudden if he tells his leg to do something it is starting to obey him. This progress has continued since his return home. From a situation where Marten had started to wriggle himself comfortbale in bed, he is now starting to pull himself up the mattress. Today he pulled himself up a few inches so that he could reach the teddies and animals at the top of his bed - which he promptly reached out, touched and explored!


Marten's return from holiday was met with the news that family friend Bill Campbell has passed away the night before (Saturday 14th July). Bill had fought a hard battle against cancer and has finally succumbed shortly after his 71st birthday. 

Our thought are very much with Bill's wife Irene at this difficult time. Both Bill and Irene were very big supporters of Marten's Progress - he will be sorely missed.


Yesterday, Saturday 21st July, saw an open air music gig being performed in Johnstone Bandstand in aid of Marten's Progress. The gig, which helps budding artists gain confidence and experience, was organised by Andy McCrory of MTG Productions. MTG Productions have been very supportive of Marten's Progress supplying promotional t-shirts and leaflets for the cause. The day was a rip-roaring success starting with two very generous donations: £50 from Johnstone Community Council "Music in the Basndstand" and a further £20 from Cllr Andy Doig; this added to successful street and pub collections and a big effort from Community Council Secretary, George Kennedy, and three young volunteers, provided a total sum for the day of £398.88. Well done to everyone involved. 

Andy McCrory

One of the young artists who made her first public performance yesterday was young Amber Sullivan from Kilmacolm. Amber and her friend also helped collect at the bandstand for Marten's Progress as did young Lewis from Bridge of Weir - thanks guys. You can see one of Amber's songs by clicking on the You Tube video below, here at Marten's Progress we're sure you'll be hearing more about Amber and her singing talent in the years to come.

You can find out more about their activities at

BEN LOMOND (again)

Just when you thought it was safe to go out Ben Lomond strikes again. Due to bad weather, other engagement and in one case (Pamela) a sore bum, a number of people didn't make it up Ben Lomond on 9th June. Now, as a matter of honour, and to fulfill the obligations of their sponsor sheets a group of lads and lassies are going to do the climb this coming Saturday, 28th July. They will be joined by a few others who have come on board since and will all be raising money for Marten's Progress. 

(Gemma getting in on the "tache" craze that's sweeping the country!)

A special mention must go to Gemma McNaughton of Kilbarchan Zumba who not only made it to the top and back on 9th June but is going up AGAIN to support pupils from her Zumba class who are turning out again to help Marten. Well done Gemma and the girls!


Fancy spending a couple of hours in Tesco without spending a penny! Nope, it's not a toilet endurance test but an opportunity on Saturday 4th August to help the Marten's Progress team raise even more money by packing customers' bags at Tesco, Pollok. More information on the pack can be found by phoning Norma on 01505 355778. 


Marten's Progress supporter, Mark Brown, has been forced to pull out of the Total Warrior 10k event in Cumbria next month due to breaking his foot - WITH A LAWNMOWER!!

Not to be beaten, Mark has volunteered to take part in another event (details later) to be held in September and will be wearing the Marten's Progress t-shirt and raising money at that instead. Thankfully, Mark's temporary incapacity will not affect his most recent fund-raising efforts which include growing a handlebar moustache! Great tache Mark - amazing progress in the last couple of weeks!!!!

Now that Gemma's getting into the tache craze can we expect Mark at the Zumbathon in Johnstone on 1st September? What this space.


Just a wee not to remind you that details of the Zumbathon are now on Marten's events page. You can get in touch through Facebook or by e-mail on

If all else fails contact Marten at



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