Mother asking for help finding sentimental jacket worn by her late son

Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — If there was one thing you could count on, it was that 18-year-old Alex Blandin or as his friends called him, “Mayo,” could brighten anyone’s day.

You could also count on him wearing a trademark Miller Lite NASCAR jacket.

His mom, Susan Sadler, says he picked it up thrift shopping one day. He wasn’t a NASCAR fan or anything, she says he just liked things that were different.

Unfortunately, as the family began to clear out some of his things, the jacket was accidentally taken to a donation bin in a Virginia Beach parking lot. 

“It’s just sentimental to me because I have so many pictures of him with it and he wore it so often this year” explained Sadler.

In an effort to recover it, Sadler, who lives in Oklahoma, called all the local thrift shops. When she didn’t have any luck, she took her search to social media. 

Her son’s friends quickly reposted it and now her plea has thousands of shares. 

“I’ve been blown away by the strangers who have shared it and are willing to go look for it. We had a really close call with finding it, but it wasn’t the exact one,” said Sadler.

The search continues for the Miller Lite racing jacket, and she’s hoping people will continue to keep an eye out for it.

But she also hopes people will keep their ears open to those close to them.

Sadler says Blandin died by suicide on Sept. 1, an incident that shocked those close to him.

She says they didn’t want to be secretive about how Blandin died, because that doesn’t help anyone.

“I think people would do well to talk to people about their mental health, to make a plan for their mental health. We don’t know if one day we’re just going to spiral down in our thoughts and if we do, what we would do about it,” Sadler said.

She says especially during this time as people are struggling, check on someone close to you because you never know if that could be what saves them.

If you’re someone or you know someone who is having suicidal thoughts, help is out there.

You can call the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 to speak to a counselor now.

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