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The Daily Tar Heel

Student founds 'Boob Blurb,' walks 12 hours to advocate for women's health

With a backpack and a water bottle, sophomore Izzy Grandic walked around campus for over thirteen straight hours to raise awareness about inaccessible healthcare. She poses with her card game, Boob Blurb, on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022.

UNC sophomore Isabella Grandić is on a mission to change the sphere of women’s healthcare.

Earlier this month, she set out with a goal to walk 12 hours to highlight inaccessible healthcare for women in developing countries.

This walk was inspired by a project focused on Nigeria, which Grandić said has high maternal mortality rates. A spark ignited within her to bring about change, but being in the midst of COVID, she struggled to find ways to help these women from the other side of the globe. 

Grandić had no choice but to get creative. 

She decided to research via Google Maps where hospitals are located in relation to the densely populated areas in Jigawa, the state in Nigeria her research was focused on. She then interviewed local citizens, doctors and members of a local health non-profit to gain a more personalized perspective regarding the issue. 

“I looked, and I was like, ‘it's a six hour walk away, which means a pregnant person would have to walk six hours one way and six hours back, just to go to the nearest hospital,'” Grandić said. “No wonder less than 10 percent of births actually happen in a facility.” 

Upon realizing the depth of the issue, Grandić decided to place herself in these women’s shoes. She walked from one side of Toronto, her hometown, to the other and back, traversing nearly 50 kilometers — or over 30 miles. 

Grandić said how physically exhausting the walk was, saying she could barely walk in the days after. 

Completing this initial research fueled Grandić’s passion for women’s health as she learned through personal experiences and discussions with maternal healthcare professionals that there is a concerning lack of awareness. 

“They were like, ‘Look, you know this is a problem. I know this is a problem.' But a lot of people don’t know this is a problem because women’s health is just simply not talked about,” Grandić said.

The lack of discussion surrounding women’s health motivated Grandić to try to make a difference. In April of 2021, Grandić launched a conversation starter card game — Boob Blurb.  

It specifically tackles taboo topics and opens up discussion for women’s life experiences. 

Currently, for the month of September, Boob Blurb is donating 25 percent of proceeds to Every Mother Counts, a non-profit working to ensure pregnancy and childbirth can be safe for every mother worldwide. 

Fast forward to this semester, Grandić decided to give the walk another go after two years, and she was in a new environment with new people and perspectives. Grandić raised awareness for the walk by promoting it on Boob Blurb's Instagram account, as well as her personal account, and she ended up being joined sporadically throughout the walk by friends who had seen her posts. 

Grandić set out on the walk early in the morning and surpassed her goal of 12 hours, ending at 13.5 hours with 50 kilometers covered. The natural landscape of Chapel Hill certainly did not make things any easier, but to Grandić and others, the experience was well worth.

“It just kind of prompted some reflection for me about the lens that I approach activism with,” first-year participant Noa Roxborough said. “Considering how my experience is so much more privileged than other people's.” 

The event offered participants a unique perspective as they now better understand the burden a walk of this duration is, but also are able to recognize the multitude of privileges they possess that made the walk easier, Grandić said. 

Sophomore participant Jake Patterson said participating in the walk helped him connect with and personalize the issue, as it is easy to remain disconnected from issues that do not directly affect oneself. 

“It allows me to really think about it more than just something that I see on social media or a clip in a documentary,” Patterson said. 


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