National Post, August 30, 2017
Cheryl Guardiero should have spent Thursday celebrating her son’s 30th birthday. Instead, she attended an International Overdose Awareness Day vigil in Nanaimo, her boy now among the dead for whom they grieved. Brett Colton Mercer was born in Nanaimo on Aug. 31, 1987, to loving parents who eventually had five children. He died Aug. 19, 2017, of an accidental drug overdose, alone in a motel room in Hope, where he had recently landed a job with an oil and gas firm.