A British father desperately trying to help his autistic son has finally had his prayers answered by a factory located halfway around the world in China.
When his son Ben was two years old, Marc Carter gave him a blue drinking cup to use. Immediately Ben became attached to the cup and used it year after year, even after he outgrew it.
Although he had difficulty relating to other people, Ben had formed a special relationship with his blue cup. Carter discovered that his son would only drink water if it was out of his blue cup.
But what started out as a childhood habit eventually developed into a dangerous problem. Ben became dehydrated on several occasions because he refused to drink using another cup, sending him to the emergency room twice. Carter sought help for his son from a therapist, but Ben couldn’t be persuaded to change his ways.
Now 14 years old, Ben’s problems have become even more complicated because the company stopped making his favorite cup years ago.
Desperate to help his son, Carter took to the internet to find a solution. Under the hashtag #CupForBen, Twitter users from around the world obliged with Carter’s request for cups matching Ben’s blue plastic model.
“I have an identical one! Give me your address and I will send it to you tomorrow!” said one Twitter user. However, the Twitter campaign only proved to be a temporary solution as the donated cups would inevitably break after using, one after another.
At his wit’s end, Carter was about to explore a method using 3D modeling when baby company Tommee Tippee UK contacted him, saying that they could help solve his problem. The search for the blue plastic cup took them all the way to China where they finally tracked down the exact mold used to make Ben’s cup.
The Chinese factory agreed to make 500 cups that match the exact specifications of Ben’s original cup. Carter celebrated by tweeting, “Tomme Tippe UK sent me the first delivery today. Ben now has his name in cups!”
There have been many famous cups that champions have hoisted above their heads throughout history: the World, the Stanley, the Ryder. And now, we have another one: the Ben.
By Charles Liu
[Images via China Daily / Twitter]
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