Marian Aldred was one of the original committee members of Think Pink Lux, founded in 2009. Sadly, Marian lost her 8-year battle with ovarian cancer, on December 31, 2011. In her memory, we share her story so that by understanding the essence of Marian Aldred, one can better understand the significance of The Marian Aldred Award. This is the Marian we knew, that her family knew, and that her oldest and dearest friends knew.
Marian Aldred was born on December 5th 1956. She grew up in Troy, Michigan USA and graduated from Troy High School in 1974. Marian’s mother died from breast cancer when she was 17. In 1978, she graduated from Michigan State University and followed this with a Masters Degree from The School of International Training in Brattleboro, Vermont in 1980.
While studying at Michigan State University, Marian went to France to teach English in Thionville. To Marian’s dismay, this was 300 km east of Paris where she originally wanted to be. However, while in Thionville, Marian met her future husband, Laurent Vanot. Laurent and Marian were briefly parted when Marian returned to Vermont to complete her masters. She returned to France and in 1983 started to work at the American International School of Luxembourg (now the International School of Luxembourg). On March 24th, 1984 Marian and Laurent Vanot wed. Marian’s friend Kathy Parrent wrote, “Marian and Laurent created a bicultural and bilingual home; a place of fun and learning, music and love.”
Whilst raising her children, Joanna and Keenan, Marian continued to work at the International School of Luxembourg, in a variety of departments with many positions which included; Language Teacher, Team Leader, Faculty Representative and Communications Coordinator. Marian’s varied background at the school enabled her to see education and learning from the point of view of the teacher, student, parent angle and also from an administrative perspective. Marian’s good friend and colleague, Angela Haren, wrote that “Marian’s commitment to excellence will remain a model for all of us to enjoy and remember and it sets a very high standard at ISL for future endeavours!” Marian worked at the International School of Luxembourg for 28 years.
Kathleen Quinby, a university freind wrote of Marian, “Marian’s passions were world peace, healthy living and lots and lots of laughter. I don’t think I ever heard her say no to dessert!” AnotherfriendLeslie Strauss wrote, “Her insights and compassion were always compelling. We listened to each other complain about all the little things that happen in life, and all the big things that make it worth living.”
Laurent, Marian’s husband shares with us Marian’s cancer story:
“At the end of November 2003 Marian had surgery for an ovarian cyst. After the surgery, doctors were very confident it was benign. When the news came back from the lab it was cancer we were all stunned. In the minutes following the blow, she looked at me and said “At least it is stage 1 and the report said that it is a non-aggressive cancer”. Her optimism and strength were on the move. She always led the way. The first chemo was December 31st 2003. In 2006, when the cancer came back, we knew we would never be totally at peace. But again, she led the way explaining that it was fortunate we had good doctors around us and that again the cancer was discovered at an early stage, and this is what she was looking at. Life continued as usual until recurrences in 2009, then 2010, then 2011. She never ever lost faith in the fact that some kind of breakthrough would come. In August 2011 when she entered the trial in Paris, we had huge expectations with that new drug. Her death on December 31st 2011, caused by a pulmonary embolism, was sudden, unexpected at that time, painless, in the arms of her daughter, son and mine.”
Marian’s friend Kathy Parrent wrote, “Marian touched many lives with her positive spirit, her strength, her love and her enthusiasm. She was indeed ‘so loved’ by many.”
Marian Aldred, December 5, 1956 – December 31, 2011