TWELVE children suffering from various types of cancer were whisked away to a magical trip to Disneyland Paris, courtesy of a Prestwood charity dedicated to easing the suffering of seriously ill children.

Children were nominated to The Thomas Ball Children's Cancer Fund by hospitals across the area and this year include youngsters from High Wycombe and the surrounding towns.

The charity was set up by Thomas Ball with the help of his parents in 1999, when he was just nine years old and going through treatment himself for neuroblastoma, an aggressive childhood cancer. Thomas died aged 14 in 2003 but the fund continues to help other young sufferers of the disease.

Elaine Ball, his mother and chairman of the charity, said the trip earlier this month was a magical one: "Every year the children are so inspiring, it never ceases to amaze me, even when they are not feeling brilliant, they can still enjoy life to the full and light up a room with their vibrant personalities and huge smiles, not wanting to miss a single minute of it".

The charity has organised this special holiday for the past nine years and over one hundred sick children and their families have benefited from it so far.

As well as providing magical memories for the youngsters, Elaine said the trip also offers a time for the families to share and often compare stories and to understand and support each other.

As the condition of the youngsters can be unpredictable, Elaine says the charity cannot guarantee which children will be well enough to embark on the trip until the last possible moment.

The trip was paid for in total by one very generous Bucks businessman who has stumped up most of the £12,000 cash needed for the last seven years.

The charity trustees have thanked the donor for making dreams come true for so many deserving children. To find out more about the charity, or to donate, go to