Twitter responds to a dad's desperate plea to help his autistic son

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LONDON — A desperate dad has launched a Twitter campaign to find a particular model of cup for his autistic son that he says "keeps him alive."

The hashtag #CupForBen has since gone viral as the internet races to find a cup that has been out of production for a decade now.

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Marc Carter's 14-year-old son Ben has refused to drink from anything other than a very specific Tommee Tippee cup since the age of 2.

The 42-year-old dad from Devon, UK worries that the consequences will be dire if a replacement is not found before the current cup wears out.

In a Twitter post, he explains, "Ben hasn't drunk at school since the age of five, he doesn't drink outside of 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."

Ben Carter, 14, suffers from severe autism.

Ben Carter, 14, suffers from severe autism.

Image: Twitter / Marc Carter

Carter told the BBC that Ben has had the cup he currently uses for three years now, and he only expects it to last for a few more weeks.

Carter, whose other two children also have special needs, turned to Twitter for help, and the response has been overwhelming.

"It has genuinely moved me to tears," he writes in an update,"It's incredible that you all want to help."

Support and promising leads have poured in from all corners of the globe as people searched their cupboards for the two-handled plastic cup:

Several people have suggested that a 3D printer might provide a longterm solution, too, if a cup can be secured to replicate.

Tommee Tippee has also responded to Carter's requests. The BBC quotes its global head of consumer experience Sara Scott as saying, "The cup he 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."

Around seven of the tiny blue cups have been collected so far, and Carter hopes to stock up to avoid future desperate hunts.

If anyone has an exact copy of the cup that they would like to send to the family, you can contact @PMPProject via Twitter.

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