When asked to participate in the Brookfield’s Dancing Stars Charity Gala, Barbara Kiselak didn’t hesitate. She had fallen in love with dancing as soon as she started lessons last September. With all of the amazing local charities, however, deciding who to support was a real challenge. After Barbara’s beloved father, Ervie “Bud” Hawley became ill requiring hospice and palliative care, the decision was easy. Witnessing the compassionate services that her father received from Regional Hospice and Home Care (RHHC), Barbara decided to dance on behalf of the organization.
Bud Hawley wanted to spend his final days in the house he had built. Regional Hospice and Home Care supported that goal by providing in-home care to Hawley and his family. Bud died peacefully in the home he loved in April of this year. For Kiselak, losing the man who was her first dance partner has been difficult. Hawley loved Sinatra and Barbara remembers fondly how she would stand on his feet as they danced around their home. Dancing on RHHC’s behalf is not only a show of support for hospice care services for other families, but also a loving tribute to her father. The song she has chosen, “We Built This City,” is a nod to The Hawley Companies, the real estate development organization that her father founded.
A Woman of Action
Barbara is still active in that family business having worked as a partner in Hawley Management since 2004. Always on the go, Kiselak is the mother of 5 children – Susan, Jimmy, Mike, Danny and Joey. Although the children are grown, Barbara reports that, “I am busier now than when the kids were home.” In addition to an hour and a half of dance lessons every week, Kiselak is also an avid tennis player. Having played all her life, she has been competing in a local USTA league for the past 10 years. She also enjoys gardening, a pastime that was enhanced a few years ago when her son Jimmy bought her a greenhouse that allows her to extend the growing season into the fall.
A Life of Service
Barbara has always been an active, go-getter committed to helping others. As a former Surgical Nurse, Kiselak worked at Danbury Hospital for 6 years. It was there that she met her husband, John, who is now a Pulmonologist. As the couple raised their five children, a true testament to the Kiselaks’ stamina, Barbara was always a dedicated volunteer at St. Gregory the Great School.
Since making the decision to raise funds for Regional Hospice, Barbara’s mother, Carolyn Hawley has also required hospice care. She is one of the first patients to be eligible for the Medicare Care Choices program, an innovative new model from the CMS that enables patients to receive medical treatments along with hospice care. Barbara is very grateful for the multitude of services that have been offered to her family. From her nurse’s expertise, to the unwavering kindness of the Family Support Volunteer who visits regularly, Barbara reports that she is always “talking it up” – spreading word about the value of RHHC’s programs and supportive services.
We are in awe of all that Barbara does in support of her family and her community. Please support Barbara’s efforts at raising money on behalf of hospice patients and their families.
You can support Barbara in several ways:
We will be rooting for you Barbara! Best of luck and many thanks for all you have done in support of Regional Hospice and Home Care.