Saturday, July 20, 2024
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Marlise Smaalders Dole: 1993-2024


Marlise Smaalders Dole, a writer, advocate, and optimist who believed in dreaming big, died peacefully of heart failure due to Friedreich’s ataxia on April 2, 2024. She was born on the summer solstice, June 21, 1993.

From the days Marlise first began to walk, she exhibited a courageous and adventurous spirit and soon after, a love for theater and storytelling. She was diagnosed with FA and accompanying hypertrophic cardiomyopathy during the third grade at Mukilteo Elementary School in December 2001.

Being diagnosed with a life-shortening disease did not curb Marlise’s zest for life or her optimistic, joyful spirit. Marlise fervently hoped for a cure for FA in her lifetime. She volunteered to take part in clinical trials and participated in fundraisers for the Friedreich's Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA).

In her teens, Marlise attended Kamiak High School, the DO-IT program at University of Washington and MDA camp, where she made many friends and touched others with her generous, positive, and loving spirit. She was a gifted writer, and earned a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from Western Washington University, hoping to write screenplays and stories with more roles for those with disabilities.

Marlise enriched the lives of all who knew her, including her mother, Karen Smaalders of Mukilteo; her father, Daniel (Lisa) Dole of Snohomish; her brothers Lorin (Kim) Dole of Everett and Galen Dole of Maastricht, the Netherlands; her stepsister, Mina Gibbs, of Seattle, and countless extended family and friends.

A Celebration of Life will take place Thursday, July 18, at Rosehill Community Center in Mukilteo. To read more about Marlise, leave a remembrance and RSVP to the celebration, please visit Donations may be made to FARA at www.curefa/donate.