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Celebrating Moms 2021: One Orchard Park Mom’s inspiring motherhood journey

Desmond and Meghan Benimoff ring the bell now that he is cancer free
Posted at 5:54 AM, May 06, 2021

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — This weekend, Meghan Benimoff of Orchard Park will celebrate her 8th Mother’s Day, with her son Desmond, 7, her right hand man. Her motherhood journey has been anything but easy, especially this past year, but she's smiling through it all.

“It’s the greatest—it’s not a job—but it’s the greatest journey I’ve ever experienced," said Beminoff.

Desmond is her only child, but she also has a group of 6-year-olds to manage, five days a week.

“I’m a first grade teacher [in the City of Buffalo]. It’s difficult to teach virtually, but I was able to be home and still be able to reach my students and that helped me get through my day," said Benimoff.

And if she needed a break from teaching virtually, Desmond was there to take over and read to the group.

Desmond reads to his mom's class over zoom
Desmond reads to his mom's class over zoom

He’s always been there to make her feel at ease.

"It was very easy going for me as a mom, up until Desmond turned five. He was diagnosed with leukemia and right then and there your entire world changes," said Benimoff.

That day—she took on a new title.

Meghan and Desmond battling through chemotherapy at Roswell Park
Meghan and Desmond battling through chemotherapy at Roswell Park

"We call ourselves 'momcoloists', there’s a group of us. He couldn’t be a little boy for a few years. And then the pandemic hit mid treatment..A year and a half into treatment," said Benimoff.

Benimoff says she felt extra pressure to wear a mask and wash her hands to keep Desmond safe throughout the pandemic. This past year has been full of zoom classrooms, hand sanitizer and trips to Roswell Park.

Well—not anymore.

Desmond rang the bell at Roswell Park on April 13
Desmond rang the bell at Roswell Park on April 13

"He’s finally cancer free, he rang the bell a few weeks ago over at Roswell. My heart is very relieved, but I’ll never stop worrying," said Benimoff.

She says she’s excited to return into the classroom in person later this month—but that fear lingers.

“I’m nervous about that, I’m vaccinated, but I don't want to bring anything home to my boy, like I said, he’s my number one priority," said Benimoff.

Despite past roller coaster of a year she’s had, when she thinks about motherhood, it's all positivity.

Meghan and Desmond will celebrate a cancer free Mother's Day this weekend
Meghan and Desmond will celebrate a cancer free Mother's Day this weekend

“I’m proud to be a mom, it’s the most fun thing in the world," said Benimoff.

She says the support of her family and love for her son helped her push through her darkest days. Now, she's cherishing the bright ones.

"Even though sometimes you have to yell and put them in timeout, they’re kids they have to learn, [just] enjoy every single cuddle and snuggle, with your babies, because one day they’re gonna be grown and they’re not gonna wanna snuggle anymore," said Benimoff.

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