In Events, Survivors

Aleia Johnson, MOCA Intern

Guest Blog Post by Aleia Johnson, MOCA Communications Intern

Aleia Johnson spent the summer working as a MOCA Communications Intern. She is now a junior at Carleton College and looks forward to studying abroad this fall. Aleia is a co-founder of Barb’s Beanies, a nonprofit organization that donates handsewn caps to cancer patients. Barb’s Beanies was inspired by Aleia’s grandmother, who recently passed away from ovarian cancer. Aleia and her family continue to raise awareness about ovarian cancer to help other women.

Athletics have always been an integral part of who I am. I have been a student-athlete since I was ten years old, and I can easily say that my experiences have taught me many lessons. I learned discipline, perseverance and how to be part of a team. Most importantly, I learned how to care for others.

My high school swim team always prioritized having a volunteer opportunity each season. The goal was to teach all of us how important it is to help our community. These experiences were valuable to all of my teammates, and we were able to make a difference for others in our community. Now, I am excited to share an amazing opportunity with other student-athletes to join the Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance’s Tie It Teal Program to raise awareness for ovarian cancer!

When your athletic team gets involved with the Tie it Teal Program, MOCA will provide your teammates with a limited number of FREE teal shoelaces to wear for practices and games during the month of September! September is significant because it’s Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.

Being a part of MOCA’s Tie It Teal Program is a fun and easy way to make a big impact for women and families in your community! Schools that participate in MOCA’s Tie it Teal campaign will help raise awareness about ovarian cancer by lacing up their shoes with teal laces and inviting others to learn about the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer.

Ovarian cancer impacts women of all ages and ethnicities. Nearly 20,000 women are diagnosed with the disease each year in the U.S. Through MOCA’s Tie It Teal program, student-athletes will help start conversations about ovarian cancer in their communities. This knowledge could help others receive an early diagnosis and treatment!

Tie It Teal is a program that’s very dear to my heart because it combines two huge passions of mine—raising awareness about ovarian cancer and athletics. Any athlete can get involved in this program, regardless of age, school district, or skill level. If you’re involved in an aquatic sport, like me, you can put these laces on any of your sneakers and wear them around school before practice or games!

If you or a loved one would like to get involved in MOCA’s Tie it Teal program for youth and adult sports teams, please reach out to MOCA Communications Manager Jody Ambroz McArdle at


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