Lily Born, an 11-year-old from Illinois, had an idea to help change her grandpa's everyday life — and ended up with something bigger.
When Lily noticed her grandpa, who has Parkinson's disease, struggle to pick up a glass of water without spilling, she had the idea for what is now known as the Kangaroo Cup, a spill-proof, 9-ounce cup that sits on three legs. The legs bring stability, making it harder for people to overturn the cup, and are easier to grip.
Coming up with this ingenious idea didn't seem to take her too long, either.
"I basically just put my mind together. It took me like a few minutes," Lily told WGN News. "Why not just put legs on it?"
Lily initially made her grandpa a plastic cup, but later created a ceramic version at a local pottery shop. Her dad, Joe, a full-time inventor, was so amazed that he asked her if she wanted to bring it into production. With Joe's guidance, the father-daughter duo traveled to China to work on a design and find a manufacturer for the ceramic cups.
Now, with funds from a new and successful Kickstarter campaign that raised more than $47,000, Lily hopes to make a new and improved, more durable, plastic version of the Kangaroo Cup. The Unbreakable Kangaroo Cup is also kid-friendly — it's stable on uneven surfaces, stackable and BPA-free. Lily's favorite feature? You don't need a coaster because the cup's base is elevated.
Lily turned her idea into reality and is constantly finding ways to improve her product. As her dad wrote, "This campaign is not just about bringing a product to production, it is about sending a message to every parent and every kid with an invention (which is just about every kid) that in history's blink of an eye, we suddenly find ourselves living in a world where that dream can be made real."
Image courtesy of WGN News