Senator Barack Obama will suspend his presidential campaign for 36 hours to visit his ailing grandmother, Mrs. Madelyn Payne Dunham in Oahu, Hawaii.
His sister, May Soetoro-Ng, who teaches at La Pietra Hawaii School for Girls is currently caring for their grandmother.
According to Robert Gibbs, campaign events in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 />Madison, Wisconsin and Des Moines, Iowa, on Thursday will be canceled. Senator Obama will attend one event in Indianapolis before traveling to Oahu on Thursday, October 23.
"Senator Obama's maternal grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, has always been one of the most important people in his life. Along with his mother and his grandfather, she raised him in Hawaii from the time he was born until the moment he left for college. As he said at the Democratic Convention, she poured everything she had into him," Gibbs said.
In a campaign ad this year, Senator Obama described Mrs. Dunham as the daughter of a Midwest oil company clerk who "taught me values straight from the Kansas heartland" — things like "accountability and self-reliance, love of country, working hard without making excuses, and treating your neighbor as you'd like to be treated."
In his speech on race, Senator Obama has referred to Mrs. Dunham as his “white grandmother”, who is affectionately called "tutu."
The Obama’s last visited Hawaii in August, when they spent a week on vacation after Senator Obama had clinched the Democratic presidential nomination.