Stories of Resilience: Leonard Kaplan


“What started off as recreational use resulted in me losing everything – including my business and family.”

The Global Resilience Project started because of the journey that Blair had with her father.

Their story of building a relationship, navigating forgiveness and the impact of addiction is how this project came to be. Upon learning that Leonard was terminally ill in 2018, Blair started to express her feelings and share her story publicly. The goal of sharing their story was to inspire others to heal while at the same time, helping Blair and Leonard heal.

So, rather than their story ending with Leonard’s terminal illness, it’s going to end with this legacy project.

This project is only the beginning of a beautiful community where people can share stories of resilience. Blair has turned her pain into purpose while navigating life with a father who lives with addiction. Here is Leonard’s story. 

I found success as a Graduate Gemologist, Jewellery Appraiser, and Diamond Dealer in the 1980s. I also became unstoppably addicted to cocaine at this time. 

What started off as recreational use resulted in me losing everything – including my business and family. Eventually, I was overcome by psychosis. I stopped using cocaine and switched to injecting a blend of Talwin and Ritalin [it resembles heroin]. Around 1999 I switched to smoking crack cocaine. I knew I had a challenge with drugs but I still woke up every morning and went to work. 

I was eventually hospitalized in 2015 after becoming septic and after two weeks in the ICU, I was fortunate to have a team of medical students who taught me how to be resilient. They helped me avoid drugs and medications outside of what is prescribed. 

In recent years, my health has declined and I have realized that I missed both of my daughter’s lives. They are grown up now and I wasn’t the father they needed me to be. I was lost in addiction. In 2018 I learned that my COPD is in the end stages. My bad choices in the 1980s led me down a dark path and now my life is coming to an end.

Are you ready to share your story of RESILIENCE? You can do that HERE.