"I’m Barry with DLYTED, a business that is personally important to me. You’ll notice also that I’m direct, plain-spoken and clear-headed about numbers. That’s because I grew up in the diamond wholesale business. In THAT business, if you’re not direct, plain-spoken and clear-headed about numbers, you’re out in a second. In those days, I was a hard charging executive and negotiated tough trade deals to maximize profit for myself and my investors. We played it fair (and tough). I did well. So well, in fact, that I invested in technology even when it was expensive to do so and there weren’t many follow-on investors.
The morning of September 17, 2004, started like many other days for me. At 55, I had just returned from a trip overseas with my 17-year-old son. Despite waking up physically strong, by the end of the day, I would be a quadriplegic, unable to move anything except my head—left to right. I was standing up in the morning, and in the evening, I was in the hospital paralyzed from my neck down. I was later diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), a rare disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks the nervous system. I remained in various hospitals for 4 and a half months and had a hospital bed in my own home for 2 years.
I couldn’t turn over by myself and used a wheelchair for 4 years. I had braces on both legs—from my hips down to my ankles—for more than a year. It’s safe to say that I came out of the other-side completely changed (how could you not), with a different perspective on what we might do with our time left on Earth. I was changed in this way. I realized the importance of giving instead of taking and shifted my vision to give back. To accomplish this, I’ve started DLYTED, a fundraising platform that enables causes to raise money by harnessing the retail spending power of their supporters using electronic gift cards.
We give people the ability raise money for their most important causes. It’s easy because they do it by spending at their already-favorite retailers. One thing to keep in mind? We are not in the gift card business, we are in the philanthropy business, and are transforming the giving experience. With your investment, you can help put the fun back in fundraising."