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Community celebrates life of Durham man known for spreading kindess

November 5, 2017 GMT

Hundreds of people came together Saturday to remember a local man who inspired not only the Triangle, but the nation.

Chris Rosati, a father of two girls, died in October after battling ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. He was 46.

Rosati was known locally and nationally for spreading random acts of kindness.

He planned every detail of Saturday’s memorial in Durham, with an elaborate theme of joy, humor and kindness.

Rosati said he dreamed of hijacking a Krispy Kreme truck after being diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, and made headlines for handing out free Krispy Kreme donuts at parks, cancer wards and children’s hospitals in 2014.

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He also founded the nonprofit Inspire Media Network and created the BIGG (Big Ideas for the Greater Good) challenge, which reached out to Triangle schools for grand ideas to benefit others.

Following the inauguration of President Donald Trump, Inspire Media hosted the Kindness Blitz, which inspired people to go out of their way to do something nice to “Make America kind again.”

Rosati often said the disease made him learn to “live out loud.”

“I have children,” he said in a previous interview. “They deserve a better world. I can still make an impact, and I feel a responsibility to make the world better.”

Everyone who attended Rosati’s memorial received a gift of $1. It came with a command from Rosati to find a way to pay it forward.

“The best thing you can do is give,” Rosati said. “So throw yourself next to the sick or the hungry or the poor or the isolated. In that instant, your life will become about their life, and boom, you’ve just found real, boundless happiness.”