There’s nothing sweeter than a homemade gift from a child. But instead of a macaroni necklace or colorful doodles, 11-year-old Lily Born created an unbreakable, spill-proof cup for her grandfather who has Parkinson’s disease.
In the video below, the Chicago-based preteen explains the touching inspiration behind her invention: the Kangaroo Cup.
“This whole thing all started when I realized that my grandpa was shaking a lot because he had Parkinson’s, and that meant a lot of spilling at every meal,” she says. “That meant a lot of bending and cleaning up for grandma. And that wasn’t good.”
With the help of her inventor father, Joe, Lily created a ceramic, three-legged tumbler that’s more stable to hold onto for people suffering from hand tremors. Lily adorably named her design after kangaroos since the animals use their tails like a third leg to help them stay balanced while jumping and standing.
The first version of her cup was successfully crowdfunded, but as Fast Company reports, it broke too easily since it was made from ceramic.
Now, Team Roo (as they like to call themselves) has put out a new, improved design that’s made of BPA-free plastic. Not only is it sturdier, but it’s also stackable, has an elevated base so there’s no need for coasters, stands on uneven surfaces like grass, and comes in a variety of colors. This version was also successfully crowdfunded and is now available to purchase on Kickstarter.
Impressively, the cup’s not just for people who have Parkinson’s. Now that it’s made of plastic, it can be used for anyone who is prone to spills, such as young children. And as this story proves, we should never look down on someone’s abilities (or lack of) just because of their age.
As Lily says, “Just because you’re a kid doesn’t mean you can’t do big and great things.”