A New Haven resident who suffers from ALS and just took took the Ice Bucket Challenge has called on all his Facebook friends to complete the challenge and donate, whether or not they choose to dump ice water over their heads.
David McClain's challenge is unique amid countless Ice Bucket Challenge videos nationwide — not just because he's passing it on to every Facebook friend, or because the Texas native used ice cubes shaped like his home state.
For McClain, who has been living with ALS for 12 years, the cause is personal.
"I am paralyzed from my shoulders down. I cannot speak, nor can I eat or drink. I am fed through a feeding tube. I cannot breath without assistance of a ventilator. But as bad as that sounds, I am able to keep a positive attitude with the help of my family, my friends and the good Lord today," he said with the help of an eye-scan machine on his ALS Ice Bucket Challenge video.
"I want to nominate all of my friends who I have on Facebook. Here is my challenge to each of you. Not only do I challenge you to take the ice bucket plunge, I also challenge you to make a donation of whatever you can to the ALS Association. With your help, we can find a cure for this horrible disease. There is always hope," he said.
McClain is paralyzed from the shoulders down and requires 24-hour care. Family members say he has defied the odds.
"The average lifespan when you're diagnosed is 3 to 5 years, and he's going on his 12th year of living with it," said McClain's wife, Donna.
After his diagnosis, no one expected him to walk his daughter down the aisle, but he gave her away and stole the show.
His daughter-in-law, Ashley, said that despite his struggles and deteriorating condition, her father-in-law never complains.
"He is the most positive individual I have ever met. Although he might have limitations, David will never once ask for pity from anyone he meets," Ashley McClain wrote in an email to NBC Connecticut. "He just wants to share his inspirational words."
She said that David McClain participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness and to encourage the public to show support by donating to the cause.
"Obviously, we didn't choose ALS for my dad. We didn't want that," she explained. "But you can choose your attitude, and his attitude toward it has blessed so many people."