MARQUETTE - Browsing through the next issue of People magazine, Marquette residents may see some familiar faces.
Robbie Goodrich, a local man who lost his wife in childbirth in January, along with 11 of the 20 area women who have been breast-feeding his infant son Moses, will be smiling from the glossy pages of the high-profile national publication.
"They're asking you very private stuff," Goodrich said about being interviewed by People staff writer Vickie Bane in April. "Publishing it in front of 40 million-some people - that's a bit nerve-racking."
Marquette residents Robbie Goodrich and 11 of the women who are currently breast-feeding his son Moses are shown in this picture that will be published in People magazine Friday. From top left are Teisha Foster, Karla Niemi, Tina Charboneau, Carrie Fiocchi, Eyre Becker, Nicoletta Fraire, Sally Keskey, Sarah McDougal, Nikki Murray, Courtney Chase and Kyra Fillmore. (Photo by Gabrielle Revere for People magazine)
After Susan Goodrich, 46, died of a rare amniotic fluid embolism, leaving a healthy son behind, Robbie Goodrich became determined to feed Moses breast milk. Word got out and about 20 area women teamed up, offering to nurse the little boy daily.
After The Mining Journal reported on the community effort, a Marquette resident pitched the story to People magazine. In late April and early May, a People magazine staff writer and photographer came to Marquette to capture the story.
"It was exciting when they were here," Goodrich said. "It was hard when they were here, too, talking about it to strangers."
The article, which will appear in the magazine's June 15 issue, is due out on newsstands Friday. Goodrich said it took him and the women a couple of days to decide if they should go national with their unique story.
"I didn't do it for the fame of it," said Nicoletta Fraire, one of the mothers nursing Moses. "It will promote breastfeeding, which I'm big on."
Goodrich said he believes his late wife would have wanted the story to be told, although she was a very private person.
"She is such a big advocate of breast-feeding, about healthy child-rearing and (preventing) infant fatality," he said. "Those are things she was keenly aware of."
As for the possibility of fame or attention from TV icons such as Oprah or "The Today Show" that may come with the story being published in the magazine, Goodrich said he is not comfortable with fame. For him, the broader message of his tragic story is what's important.
"I think there is a valuable story about community, breast-feeding and natal fatality," he said.
In the meantime, life goes on for Goodrich and his children, including having to go through the stages of grief.
"You go through a whole bunch of 'firsts,'" he said. "First Mother's Day, birthday. Everything that happens this year is going to be a first without Susan."
Moses is thriving, still being fed every day by the women. Julia - Susan and Robbie's first daughter -just turned 2. Susan's older daughter, Emma, 11, and Robbie comfort each other when they get sad.
"When Emma and I feel sad, we can talk to each other," he said.
The Goodrich story will appear on page 97 of the magazine.