Just one week after her 86th birthday, Senator Barack Obama's grandmother Madelyn Dunham has lost her battle with cancer.
Dunham, who Obama called "Toot," a version of the Hawaiian word for grandparent "tutu," had been ill for some time. On last week's GMA, Obama hoped she would live to see her grandson possibly be elected as the country's first black president."We're all praying, and we hope she does," he said. The candidate took a break from campaigning late last month to visit her bedside in Hawaii, where she helped raise him.
He and his sister Maya Soetoro-Ng issued the following statement: "She was the cornerstone of our family, and a woman of extraordinary accomplishment, strength, and humility. She was the person who encouraged and allowed us to take chances." According to his reps she died peacefully.
He learned of her death this morning while campaigning in Jacksonville, Fla. A rep said he planned to continue with campaign appearances.