Our thoughts and prayers are with the Obama family as they face this tragedy on the eve of the election. No matter who you're voting for tomorrow, please keep the Obamas in mind tonight.
"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."
Obama and [sister Maya] Soetoro-Ng asked that donations be made for the search for a cure for cancer in lieu of flowers. A small private ceremony will be held "at a later date."
Dunham passed away peacefully at her home shortly before midnight Sunday night (5 a.m. ET), campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki told CNN. She said Obama learned of her death around 8 a.m.
The Democratic presidential candidate left the campaign trail on October 23 and flew to Honolulu, Hawaii, to spend the day with Dunham, whose health deteriorated after she suffered a broken hip.
His wife, Michelle Obama, filled in for him at events in Columbus and Akron, Ohio, on October 24.
Obama said in an interview taped for that day's "Good Morning America" that Dunham had been "inundated" with flowers and messages from strangers who read about her in Obama's 1995 book, "Dreams From My Father."
"Maybe she is getting a sense of long-deserved recognition toward the end of her life," he said.