Tommee Tippee is coming through in a big way for a boy with autism
Ben Carter’s light blue sippy cup isn’t just his favorite cup; it’s the only cup he’ll drink out of. It’s his lifeline and until recently, that special cup was in danger of not existing anymore. That is – until the internet and a baby product company stepped up in a big way.
Tommee Tippee is making a lifetime supply of the special blue cups for Ben according to a statement on the company’s website. The company scoured their factories across the world and were able to find the tools (that were stored away) to make the original cups.
— tommee tippee UK (@tommeetippee_UK) November 29, 2016
“Today we are delighted to confirm that we are able to start production on a run of the original cup. Ensuring that Ben has a lifetime supply and that his family won’t ever have to worry about finding another cup for Ben.”
The 14-year old boy in England has a severe form of autism and has used the very specific cup since he was two-years old. It’s not as simple as taking the cup away and making him drink from something else. Ben has been hospitalized for severe dehydration after refusing to drink from anything but the distinctive cup. Ben’s dad, Marc Carter, made a plea through Twitter a few weeks ago saying, “Ben hasn’t drunk at school since the age of 5, he doesn’t drink outside of the house so we can’t go anywhere.” He took to social media when the last cup he had at home for Ben was showing signs of deterioration.
— Grumpy Carer (@GrumpyCarer) November 14, 2016
Ben’s dad was afraid he was going to have to throw the cup away soon. The problem? The cup has been discontinued for 10 years.
The internet quickly responded and made a hashtag to help in the search #CupForBen. Scary Mommy covered the story when it went viral. It was uplifting to see parents from around the world answering Marc’s plea with the best news – they found Ben’s cup in their cupboard and they could send right away. While it was certainly a beautiful display of humanity and actually just incredible to think the cup still existed, the hard truth prevailed; Ben would likely need more cups than the internet could scrounge up.
Tommee Tippee immediately got in on the search, helping people identify the right cups, collecting them and organizing ways for those that were helping to ship them for free.
— tommee tippee UK (@tommeetippee_UK) November 18, 2016
Behind the scenes, they were on a mission of their own: find the mold for the special little blue cup. Thankfully, they did. And the company acknowledged in a heartfelt tweet that it wasn’t just their hard work that made this miracle possible; it was everyone who looked in their cupboards, asked parenting groups, and shared the story on social media.
Marc made the exciting announcement on YouTube and was all smiles as he delivered the news.
“I would not be happier if I won the lottery.”
And that basically sums it up. This is simply amazing.
Marc said Tommee Tippee offered to “go away now and leave him alone” (the company humbly not realizing how their hard work and presence in Marc and Ben’s life is really a gift and not an annoyance). Marc said he doesn’t want them to go away and he doesn’t want the people he’s connected with to go away either.
“I think we’ve started some interesting discussions. I’ve had a lot of people who don’t get it and think I’ve got it wrong. I haven’t got it wrong, they’ve got it wrong. You don’t know [Ben.] You know what you know. When you’ve met a child with autism you’ve met one child of autism; you do not know every child, you do not know my son,” Marc said. “And that’s the same for everyone out there who’s got a child with autism, who’s got a child of disability, they know best, these parents and carers are experts for their child.”
Marc said production will be handled in China and start around the New Year. In the meantime, he has cups sent to him from around the world to try out with Ben and hold him over.
“We have more cups than we could have dreamt of.”