BEIJING (CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A British man launched a global search on the Internet to find a specific kind of little blue cup for his autistic son and a Chinese cup factory is playing an essential role in this heart-warming endeavour.
When Ben Carter was two, his father Mac gave him a little blue cup that was made in China and he grew to become dependent on it, the UK-based Daily Mail newspaper reported.
Ever since he received the gift, Ben, now 14, would drink water only from that cup. The senior Carter became worried that the cup could break soon and wanted to find a replacement for his son to drink with. The problem was the cup was no longer being manufactured.
Mr Carter tried to take Ben to a therapist to solve the cup problem, but it was of no use.
This prompted Mr Carter, tweeting as @GrumpyCarer, to seek help from the public on Twitter. The response he got was overwhelming and the enthusiasm people from all over the world showed gave him confidence and hope.
After reading Mr Carter's plea, many strangers found their identical cup and offered to send them to Ben.
"I have an identical one! Give me your address and I will send it to you tomorrow!" a Twitter user said.
More and more people heard about Mr Carter's plea and it went viral.
Though receiving a lot of help, Mr Carter was still concerned. All the cups he received would eventually break. As time passed, it would be even harder to find the same cups. Mr Carter wanted a mould of the cup that is the key for Ben's well-being.
The situation took a surprising turn when the company that produced the cup got in touch with Mr Carter.
The baby products company Tommee Tippee UK said they had a dedicated team searching the cupboards for Ben's cup. The company also delved further into their search on the Internet. The team was sent to China and they found the same exact mould for the cup in the factory that initially made it.
After checking that the mould was still in function, the company and the Chinese factory decided to make as many as 500 cups for Ben.
"Tomme Tippe UK sent me the first delivery today. Ben now has his name in cups!" tweeted the delighted Mr Carter.