Disabled N.D. Motorcyclist Moves Step Closer To Specialized Care


  • Benefit for Williston’s Dennis Ahoe set for Sunday, same day as birthday

Less than a week before both his 60th birthday and a benefit to raise money on his behalf, a Williston, N.D., man disabled in a June motorcycle crash moved a big step closer to gaining access to accredited spinal cord rehabilitation.

Dennis Ahoe.

Dennis Ahoe received notice today that his Social Security disability claim has been approved and will take effect later this fall. His federal disability status required authorization before Medicaid could approve his application for assistance.

Ahoe lacked health insurance when he survived a June 1 motorcycle crash on U.S. Highway 2 near Minot, N.D. He emerged with quadriplegia. He’s spent every day since at Minot Trinity Hospital, recuperating from some of his injuries. [Read a Williston Daily Herald article about Ahoe HERE.]

Ahoe, who was raised in the Devils Lake, N.D., area,  and his family want to move him to Sanford Health in Fargo. Sanford has an accredited spinal cord rehabilitation program, but he didn’t qualify because he lacked both private and federal health coverage, his family said.

Dennis Ahoe 2008
Dennis Ahoe.

Ahoe received word about his disability claim this morning in a phone call from one of his daughters, Brandi Watson, who filed the claim on his behalf. Watson happens to work for Allsup, a disability representation firm based in Belleville, Ill.

“He’s very relieved,” Watson said. “It’s a huge load off of all of our minds and, most importantly, our dad’s. He was very happy to hear the news. … Hopefully things can fall into place to get into a rehab facility now.”

While Ahoe moves toward receiving accredited care for his new physical disabilities, he still faces enormous financial expenses to meet uncovered medical expenses and other basic, essential day-to-day living expenses outside of medical treatment, including accessible housing.

Family and friends are holding a sloppy joe feed and silent auction benefit for Ahoe from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 23, at the Old Armory building, 320 First Ave. E., Williston. Admission is a free-will offering.

Dennis Ahoe at a work bench.

All proceeds will be used to help offset Ahoe’s escalating medical and essential day-to-day expenses.

NDAD is a benefit sponsor and is serving as custodian for all funds raised by the benefit. If you’re unable to attend the benefit but still would like to help, you may make a donation on his behalf by mailing a check to: NDAD, 2660 S. Columbia Road, Grand Forks, ND 58201. Please make checks payable to: NDAD / Dennis Ahoe.

Or, using a credit card, you can donate online at http://www.ndad.org/fundraisers.asp. Use the “Give Online” button next to Ahoe’s photo and story.

The flier for Sunday’s Dennis Ahoe benefit in Williston, N.D.