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Hi Beams: Arizona Man With Brain Cancer Makes Roadside Smiling His Mission

by Kathryn Robinson /  / Updated 

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An Arizona man with terminal brain cancer is determined to spend the rest of his days making people smile — and he’s got 150 unusual ways to do it.

Chris Lamb of Tucson, who is partially blind and has a slightly paralyzed right side and three tumors in his brain, stands at an intersection smiling and waving at everyone who drives by.

NBC station KVOA reports that he does it while wearing one of 150 signs, each with a positive message, such as “Smile” or “Tucson’s Greatest People.”

Lamb, 56, says it started on his daily trip to the convenience store down the road.

“One morning I just started smiling at everyone going past, and it made it interesting, and then people started smiling, and then that’s when I started the signs,” he told NBC News.

Lamb, who was diagnosed 10 years ago, says he's met many of the commuters who have passed him during the five years of his smiling campaign. Some stop for pictures, while others want to make sure he's OK. Some brake just to chat.

"One guy was having a bad day on his way to work," Lamb said. "We just laughed our rear ends off for five minutes."

Lamb used to spend five days a week meeting people but had to shorten it to two days after having two strokes in one night at the intersection last year. It was one of the daily commuters who helped then.

TUCSON - If you've driven by Camino de Oeste and Valencia Road, you've probably seen Chris Lamb on the sidewalk waving and smiling. He's partially blind, has slight paralysis on his right side, and three tumors in his brain. But, he's been out at the intersection rain, sleet, or snow for five years.
TUCSON - If you've driven by Camino de Oeste and Valencia Road, you've probably seen Chris Lamb on the sidewalk waving and smiling. He's partially blind, has slight paralysis on his right side, and three tumors in his brain. But, he's been out at the intersection rain, sleet, or snow for five years.KVOA

A decade ago doctors said Lamb only had a few years to live at best, but his wife says she believes spreading happiness is keeping him alive.

“The people are the most important,” Mercy Lamb told NBC News Monday. “They’re the ones that keep him going.”

Chris Lamb has stopped treatment this year, but he doesn't plan to ever stop doling out the joy.

"A smile. That's all it takes to make this world better," he said. "That's all it takes."

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