Florida Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is canceling nearly all his campaign events Thursday and Friday to fly to Hawaii to visit his suddenly gravely ill 85-year-old grandmother, a spokesman said.
Robert Gibbs told reporters aboard Obama's plane that Madelyn Payne Dunham, who helped raise Obama, was released from the hospital late last week. But he said her health had deteriorated.
Events originally planned for Madison, Wis., and Des Moines, Iowa, on Thursday will be replaced with one in Indianapolis before Obama makes the long flight to Hawaii.
As early voting began Monday in Florida, Obama kicked off two days of campaigning in the state, appearing in Orlando alongside his former primary rival, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton.