Riggs was recently diagnosed with neuroendocrine cancer after falling ill three weeks ago

By Joelle Goldstein
October 08, 2019 09:31 PM

Sen. Bernie Sanders‘ family is in mourning after his daughter-in-law, Dr. Rainè Riggs, died over the weekend. She was 46.

The mother of three had been diagnosed with neuroendocrine cancer two days earlier, according to her obituary from the Lee & Martin Funeral Home in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania.

The family said that Riggs, who was married to Sanders’ son, Levi, had fallen ill three weeks ago but her condition left doctors “stumped.”

It wasn’t until last week that she returned home to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, where she learned of her cancer diagnosis.

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Rainè Riggs
Courtesy Riggs family

“I don’t know how our family will ever get over this loss as she was loved so much. I do know that we will continue on because we have to…. we promised her we would,” the family continued.

“We promised to love her children every day as if they were our own,” the family went on, referencing her three kids with Levi, Sunnee Riggs Sanders, Ryleigh Riggs Sanders, and Grayson Riggs Sanders.

RELATED: Before She Died, Bernie Sanders’ Daughter-in-Law Told Her 3 Kids ‘She Was So Sorry That She Got Sick’

“We promised this to her and so we will do it and hopefully every day the pain will become a little less. It is what she wanted,” they added. “Rainè Riggs, we will miss you every day until the day we see your beautiful smile… I know you will be waiting for us.”

Representatives for Sen. Sanders did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

Sen. Bernie Sanders
Paras Griffin/WireImage

Riggs’ passing comes after a particularly difficult time for the Sanders family.

Last Tuesday night, the presidential candidate, 78, was admitted to a Nevada hospital and had two stents inserted after having a heart attack while on the campaign trail.

“I want to thank the doctors, nurses, and staff at the Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center for the excellent care that they provided,” Sanders said in a 500 Internal Server Error

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last Friday. “After two and a half days in the hospital, I feel great, and after taking a short time off, I look forward to getting back to work.”

He later shared a video of himself with his wife, Jane O’Meara Sanders, in which they both thanked everyone who sent their well-wishes.

“Hello everybody! We’re in Las Vegas. I just got out of the hospital a few hours ago, and I’m feeling so much better,” the senator said in the video, with his arm around Jane. “I just want to thank all of you for the love and warm wishes that you sent to me.”

“See you soon on the campaign trail,” he added.

Jane chimed in: “Thank you all so much. It really made a difference.”

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