Barack Obama's 86-year-old grandmother,
Madelyn Dunham, has died from cancer only ten days after
the candidate put his campaign on hold to visit her in Hawaii--and only
one day before he stands for election to the presidency of the United
States. She was, in large part, the woman who raised him--and his last
living forebear. Here's
the statement from Obama and his half-sister Maya Soetoro-Ng:
It is with great sadness that we announce that our grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, has died peacefully after a battle with cancer. 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. She was proud of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and left this world with the knowledge that her impact on all of us was meaningful and enduring. Our debt to her is beyond measure.
Our family wants to thank all of those who sent flowers, cards, well-wishes, and prayers during this difficult time. It brought our grandmother and us great comfort. Our grandmother was a private woman, and we will respect her wish for a small private ceremony to be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, we ask that you make a donation to any worthy organization in search of a cure for cancer.
UPDATE: Eli Sanders reportsthat Mrs. Dunham's vote will, in fact, count. She may not have lived to see her grandson elected president. But at least she had the chance to contribute to his historic candidacy:
Ms. Dunham’s absentee mail ballot was received and reviewed under the Hawaii standards for processing absentee mail ballots… She was alive at that time. Her ballot will be opened tomorrow, and it will be counted in the same way that all absentee voters would be treated under our law.