Earlier this month, Marc Carter, a father and full-time caretaker from Devon, England, turned to Twitter to make a unique and heartfelt request: he desperately needed to track down a cup for Ben, his 14-year-old son with autism.
Since the age of two, Ben—who is non-verbal and has limited understanding—has refused to drink from anything other than his beloved teal, two-handled Tommee Tippee cup. As the product is now discontinued, Ben’s parents have tirelessly tried to wean him onto similar products. He, however, will not budge, even if it means he winds up severely dehydrated. Since his current cup is quickly deteriorating, Carter, fearing for his son’s wellbeing, tweeted about the potentially life-threatening situation with the hope that someone would be able to help.
“Maybe you have one stuck at the back of the cupboard?” Carter wrote in his heartfelt appeal on November 14. “In all honesty, we are really worried about what will happen if it falls apart completely.” Incredibly, his post was liked, shared, and answered by nearly 20,000 users, resulting in floods of donated look-alike cups—and even attention from the Tommee Tippee company itself.
Touched by Carter’s plea, Tommee Tippee decided to help hunt for a #CupForBen. As the 50-year-old company rifled through their inventory, they discovered that, although the model has been retired for a decade, they miraculously still have the tools needed to create brand new ones. They intend to manufacture 500 for Ben, ensuring that he and his parents never have to worry about finding another little blue cup.
Now, Carter is launching a website dedicated to his son's cause. He also hopes to create a documentary about his inspiring story. You can help make this happen by donating on his GoFundMe page.
All images via Marc Carter and Tommee Tippee.