Marc Carter, 42 year old father of 3 special needs children, took to Twitter on Monday in search of a certain Tommee Tippee cup for his 13 year old severely autistic son Ben.
Ben has been using the cup since he was two and will only drink out of that specific one, which unfortunately is no longer manufactured.
Marc launched the Twitter appeal under the name @GrumpyCarer, writing:
“Ben hasn’t drunk at school since the age of 5, he doesn’t drink outside the house so we can’t go anywhere.”
“People say he will drink when he’s thirsty but two emergency trips to A&E with severe dehydration say otherwise.”
Image: MARC CARTER
The cup Ben currently uses is three years old and falling apart, Marc was desperate to find another, urging that the tiny blue cup dictates Ben’s life.
He said: “The cup keeps him alive. If we lost the cup and couldn’t find another Ben would die. He would be put on fluids in hospital but he would yank out the tubes.”
The appeal immediately received attention from thousands of users, with 17,000 retweets and responses from people all across the UK and even as far as Australia! Since then Marc has received an abundance of messages from people who have the very same Tommee Tippee cup that they want to send to Ben.
Even one 16-year-old that had used that particular cup as a child and had never wanted to throw it away – offered to donate it to Ben after seeing the appeal.
Marc, who lives in north Devon, said he had been overwhelmed with the response. He said: “I cried. It’s been incredible. I didn’t expect it.”
“I’ve had people tweeting to say good luck and people looking in their cupboards for the cups. They don’t know me – it’s been amazing and moving.”
“I’ve said I’d pay for the postage but people don’t want it.”
“Ben might need this cup for the rest of his life so it will be great to have stock. It would be life-changing.”
Image: MARC CARTER
Even Tommee Tippee were touched by the post saying:
“The cup Ben previously had was a Tommee Tippee cup that we made for Boots in the late 1990s and our team is currently looking through all our archive product samples to see if we have one that’s just right for Ben.”
Full-time carer Marc said he now has around seven replacements being sent to him and hoped to stock up on even more so Ben never needs to go without his treasured blue cup again.
If you, or anyone you know, have an exact copy of the cup and want to help Ben, you can contact Marc on Twitter @PMPProject.