Man's brush with death inspires him to start - KCTV5

Man's brush with death inspires him to start nonprofit

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NORTH KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Blake Lostal's business was discovered when KCTV5 was looking to recycle its old computers, but his idea is more than just a business.

"Good working stuff we export to different counties that still use older technology than Pentium 4. There are countries that still use Pentium 3 computer," Lostal said.

He started his business in North Kansas City five years ago to give electronics a second life.

Then he got a second lease on life.

"My health insurance got dropped for one month, and that is the month when I had my heart attack," Lostal said.

It was November 2012 when he was wheeled in to North Kansas City Hospital, suffering a heart attack at the age of 34. He had a full blockage - sometimes called the widow-maker artery.

The bills were huge and the hospital forgave most of it.

"And that's when we started talking about, ‘well maybe I can donate certain proceeds of my company back to the hospital and the American Heart Association,'" Lostal said.

He turned the reuse of all the obsolete electronics parts into a nonprofit two months ago, and created a foundation to pay for expenses insurance doesn't cover.

"There's a big area between insurance and reality and that gap is rehab, prescriptions, loss of work," Lostal said.

What the people at Re:IT can't refurbish and resell to wholesalers they break down to bare parts for recyclers who resell the metal and plastics.

"That is a truckload waiting to go out to scrap," he said.

Lostal's business takes CPUs, mice, keyboards and more.

"Docking stations for laptops, power supplies. When old ones go bad, we collect the components," he said.

They are components that now represent an opportunity, one he never thought he'd have.

"I have another opportunity to give back for what I was given," he said.

Because it's now a nonprofit, letting Lostal and his guys take your old goods off your hands is also tax deductible. He takes donations from individuals and companies and offers free pickup.

Because the nonprofit has just started, Lostal doesn't have a number yet for what he has raised, but he has set a goal of $100,000.

Click here for more on the Re:IT business and how you can schedule a pickup.

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