Cup for Ben: Chinese factory to grant Christmas wish for boy with autism
A boy with autism needed a replacement for his beloved sippy cup — instead he got a thousand.
Four machines and a dozen workers in a Chinese factory will be repurposed for a whole week, just to make about 1,000 Pearlized Green Tommee Tippee cups for 14-year-old Ben Carter.
“About a week was spent to retrieve the tools and to check on their condition … The (original) cup was produced between 2001 to 2003 and production was ceased in December 2003,” Mayborn Group Regional Marketing Manager Michelle Lo told CNN.
It was the heartwarming story that went viral around the world.
Marc Carter needed to find a new cup for his severely autistic son, Ben. He’d had it since he was two years old and it was the only thing he’d drink from, refusing other vessels even to the point of dehydration.
But after a desperate social media post, Marc was inundated with offers for help and cups, including from the company who originally designed it.
Cups may be ready for Christmas
Tommee Tippee, owned by the Mayborn Group, started looking for samples of their original cups as soon as they heard, including in their Dongguan factory.
“Although no leftover sample in the exact color was found, fortunately the manufacturing tools are retrieved and still in good condition,” Lo said.
It may take a bit of time to get the color exactly right — samples have been sent to Ben for consideration — but as soon as it is, Lo said they’ll get to work.
“We will produce around 1,000 pieces. All of them will be forwarded to our UK head office in Newcastle. Further arrangement will be made with Ben on the quantity (he wants),” she said.
Lo said the generous act would only cause a slight disruption to manufacturing operation.
‘You’ve been incredible’
It wasn’t just the company who has pulled out all the stops to help Ben.
In a video posted just two weeks after his original call for help, Ben’s father Marc described how he had been inundated with cups from around the world.
“You’ve been incredible, the people who’ve helped me find cups, I’ve got cups, I’ve got six here, I’ve got 35 coming and the others won’t be made till New Year,” he said.
“We have more cups than we could have dreamt of.”