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Keep those cards & letters coming: Community asked to help Riverhead teen recover from surgery — with mail

Mike Petroski on graduation day at Riverhead High School last month. (Photo: Denise Civiletti)

One Greenport resident is on a quest to make a young Riverhead man’s life brighter — with letters.

Joan Dinizio recently posted a message on Facebook about her mission to help Michael Petroski, a 2014 graduate of Riverhead High School.

“While most recent graduates will spend their summer getting ready for college, Mike’s summer will be spent recovering from a Mitrofanoff/Malone procedure for bladder/colon surgery,” Dinizio wrote.

“His mom, Kathy, says there is one thing that would really make Mike happy — mail. My mission is to see that he gets lots of it. I’m counting on you, my friends, to help me out with this. I don’t care if it’s a handmade card or just a note. I just want his mail carrier to have a special truck or two just for mail for him. It will only take a minute; please help.”

2014 0716 petroskiMike went into surgery at 10:30 this morning at Long Island Jewish Medical Center.

“What we want to do for Mike is to have him get mail, lots of mail,” Kathy Petroski said as she waited with family members in the hospital’s surgical waiting area. “He loves going to the mail box in his power chair to get the mail — if there is something there for him it makes his day.”

And, Petroski said, since her son will be recovering from his surgery for at least six weeks, the mail “will give him something to look forward to every day.”

Mike, who has spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy, is nonverbal and nonmobile, but cognitive to the world around him, his mother said. “He is an amazing kid who has inspired everyone who knows him. He never complains, never. He loves computers — actually, he lives on his computer — and he loves Facebook, playing music and music videos. This surgery will, hopefully, give him a better quality of life.”

The mail, Petroski said, “will mean so much to our Mikey.”

Mike Petroksi’s address is 150 Arrowhead Avenue, Riverhead, NY 11901.

Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter and editor, an attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including a “writer of the year” award from the N.Y. Press Association in 2015. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website. Email Denise.