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Marten's story and his struggle with cerebral palsy
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Saturday 9th June 2012


Marten has continued to make steady progress since we last reported. Marten's battle to get off his muscle relaxing drug Nitrazepam is now complete, all the withdrawal symptoms have now completely gone and his general mood has improved. A week after coming off Nitrazepam, Marten decided that he no longer liked the special milk that he had been having since he was a baby. It was this milk that his strong anti-reflux medication was added to. After refusing to drink his milk for two days (and consequently not have his Omeprazole anti-reflux drug) with little effect, mum and dad decided to withdraw the drug competely. After another couple of days with one or two minor incidents, Marten's system got used to working without that drug too. Consequently, for the first time in his life MARTEN IS TOTALLY DRUG FREE and he is thriving on it!

Going hand in hand with finishing with all his drugs has been an enormous increase in Marten's appetite. He now eats substantially more solid food that he did a month ago and is even wakening up during the night demanding extra food (something brother Erik used to do a number of months ago). His taste in food has also changed and he now eats things he wouldn't a few weeks ago while he turns his nose up at old favourites! In general though his tastesand variety of foods has widened.

Marten's range of movements has also continued to improve - dramatically. His muscles are now almost always relaxed; with that relaxation the strong muscle spasms have all but disappeared and his involvuntary movements reduced considerably. His whole body arching, a feature of spastic cerebral palsy sufferers, is reduced to a movement of the jaw and neck on which his parents are now working to eliminate it completely. Marten has now had around a little over an hour of ABR treatment on his neck 7 days a week for the last month - and the results are now starting to show. As the neck became stronger Marten's lateral movements increased; gone was the jerky side to side movement to be replaced with a smoother controlled shift from side to side. Marten is also now regularly displaying the first stages of being able to bare the weight of his head without his neck collapsing forward or his head being thrown backwards. Indeed, only today, Marten actually pulled his head up from the backwards position using his own power! These are all small steps forward in the all important battle for head control. Without proper head control there would be no prospect of Marten being able to hold his own head up, sit properly, stand, crawl or walk.


Further evidence that Marten's range of movements was on the up was recorded this week at bath time. One look at the range of movements in the video below and the happiness evident in his face is further proof that his ABR therapy is beginning to bare fruit. Just compare this to the slow movements of the last video when his spine was just beginning to open up to movement.

As Marten's spine continues to open up and the different parts of his structure begin to segment into independent operational units his range of movements will continue to increse. Also on the increase is the duration and variety of ways in which Marten interacts with others and his surroundings. In displaying a very keen interest in what's happening around him he is increasing his range of experiences and his interest in life itself.


With less than a week to go (Saturday 16th June) there are now over 60 people either doing the walk or collecting sponsorships for Marten's Progress. This is a fantastic effort and a great deal of thanks and appreciation is due to all those who volunteered. Arrangements for both walker and collectors have now been put in pace to ensure, as far as is possible, that the event goes off without a hitch. Click on the specially created tab "Ben Lomond" at the top of the page for details. Any problems just get in touch.


A big thank you is also due to Loudon and Brenda Temple and the guys at Brookfield Knights for the successful music events they have held over the last few weeks. From three events a total of £437.00 was raised through raffles for the Marten's Progress fund. Thanks very much guys - it is very much appreciated and every penny will be wisely spent.


Earlier today Kilbarchan's own Glentyan Thistle offered to help raise cash for Marten's Progress. The club is running its charity football match at on Saturday 16th June (same day as the Ben Lomond Walk) and has offered to donate its proceeds to Marten. The game kicks off at 3pm on Saturday at the Bog park (off Barn Green). After game activities continue with light refreshments at the Trust Inn, High Barholm, Kilbarchan. If you're not doing anything, or feel fit enough after Ben Lomond why not go along.


Another event in aid of Marten's Progress is Alan Crawford's attempt to RUN - yes RUN, the 95 miles West Highland Way in a mere 35 hours (including sleeping time)! Starting at Milngavie Railway Station all the way to Fort William Leisure Centre; this journey includes 14,760 feet of ascent. Alan normally collects sponsors for cyctic fibrosis but this time he is running for Marten's Progress. If you want to sponsor Alan you can use any of the donate buttons on this website and clearly mark your donation for Alan's run. Mum, who is a colleague of Alan's says that if Alan says he will run all the way - he will run all the way. Marten says: "you should always have faith in your mum".

See for further information on the event.