11-Year-Old Designs Unbreakable Cup For Parkinson’s Sufferers

Design & Architecture

Three-legged Kangaroo Cup makes life easier for people with the degenerative disease.

Ross Brooks
  • 10 june 2014

Drinking from a cup might seem simple to all of us, but for those with Parkinson’s it can quickly become an almost-impossible challenge. Instead of standing by and watching her grandfather struggle, 11-year-old Lily Born came up with the idea for an unbreakable, spill-proof cup. The Kangaroo Cup puts control back in the hands of those with Parkinson’s, instead of them having to rely on others for help.

The design features three contoured handles which not only keep the cup stable on uneven surfaces, but also provide a comfortable one or two-handed grip. Made with BPA-free plastic, the 9-ounce cup can also be stacked to save space in the cupboards – a useful feature if other family members decide to buy one as well.


As with many great products, this isn’t the first iteration of Kangaroo Cup, which was first funded on Kickstarter in 2012. That particular model was made from ceramic, which made it easy to break if it was dropped or manhandled. In order to improve on the design, Lily’s father Joe put her in touch with some designers and marketers who could contribute their expertise.

Already aware of some important entrepreneurial lessons, Lily told FastCoDesign:

“Don’t freak out if you screw up or fail, because you’ll fail a lot before you get it right.” She went on to add, “Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help. No matter how good your idea is, there are lots of things that grownups will have to help you with. Most of the time they are excited to help you, unless it’s something really expensive!”


The cup isn’t just for those with Parkinson’s either, it’s just as useful for small children, loved ones who want to show their support, or simply those who lacking in hand-eye coordination. Kangaroo Cup has already surpassed its new goal of $25,000 on Kickstarter, but there is still plenty of opportunity get your own. A set of four cups costs just $25 (plus a $10 shipping charge for those in the UK or Canada), which you can expect to receive in October of this year.

Kangaroo Cup

[h/t] FastCoDesign

Images by Kangaroo Cup


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