THREE seriously ill children who missed out on a trip to Disneyland Paris have had their dreams come true after generous businesses raised £3,000 in just two days to send them there.

The youngsters, who are all suffering from a form of cancer, were left distraught when they missed out on the magical trip at the 11th hour after being rushed to hospital with infections.

But when the Free Press heard of their plight, we stepped in and called local companies asking for donations. Businesses instantly responded to our appeal.

More than ten kind-hearted companies from High Wycombe, Marlow, Beaconsfield and Cadmore End pledged their support to the appeal. The Michael Shanly charitable trust donated the final £1,500 needed to hit the target and the appeal even received an anonymous donation of £500 from a big-hearted builder.

The money will send Ella Edwards and Kimberley Claassen from Marlow, and Samantha Hughes from Derbyshire, on the trip of a lifetime.

The trio were originally booked to go on a weekend trip to the Disney resort organised by the Thomas Ball Children's Cancer Fund, based in Prestwood. But all three had to pull out when they were told they were too ill to go.

Three-and-a-half-year-old Ella, from Cedar Drive in Marlow Bottom, was diagnosed with leuk-aemia a year ago. She was taken to John Radcliffe Hospital, in Oxford, the night before she was due to leave for Paris with her mum, Clare, dad, Mike and younger sister Gracie.

Clare, 36, said: "We had to cancel at seven o'clock the night before. Because of the way Ella is she's quite prone to infection because she hasn't got an immune system.

"They let us out of hospital that night and sent us home. Because she had a touch of bronchitis they said we're not happy with you to go to Euro Disney. We had tears from Ella because she couldn't go."

Clare could not believe it when she was told the family would be going. She added: "It's just absolutely amazing, it's fantastic."

"It just restores your faith in humankind, that people are prepared to give money just like that. I just told a friend and burst into tears, we're just so overwhelmed by it."

Kimberley, who turns three next month, was also diagnosed with leukaemia last year. The youngster, from Jerome Close in Marlow, was taken to Wycombe Hospital with an infection. Her parents Maria and Johan were told three days before they were due to leave that they could not go.

Maria, 31, said: "My husband and I were really disappointed, it's been a really long year. We're just looking forward to doing something normal as a family. This year's been anything but normal."

Kimberley was set to go on the trip with her mum, dad and nine-month-old sister, Alexia, and was looking forward to having tea with Cinderella or Snow White.

Maria added: "We're thrilled to hear that we're still going to go. It's very kind of people to do that. It's a really nice Christmas present."

The third tot that had to miss out was three-year-old Samantha, who was diagnosed with neuroblastoma.

Thomas Ball died at the age of 14 in 2003 after a six-year battle with neuroblastoma. During this time he set up the Thomas Ball Children's Cancer Fund.

His mum Elaine Ball, who runs the fund, said having some children cancel is always expected, due to the nature of their diseases. She said: "It's a lot of hard work organising the trip but when you see the smiles on their faces, it's absolutely magical to see how much it gives them. I'm really happy to organise the trip for those that didn't manage to go last week. I'm really grateful to all the people who have donated. It's just superb."

* The charity is having a street collection in High Wycombe town centre on December 30. For more details visit:

Businesses that donated for trip:

* Michael Shanly Charitable Trust, Beaconsfield * Savoir Faire, Cadmore End * High Wycombe Lions Club * Grant and Stone Builders Merchants, High Wycombe * Horizons bookshop, Marlow * Savilles Estate Agents, Beaconsfield * Advanced Interior Solutions, High Wycombe * Hewetts of Marlow * W.C Emmett and Sons farmshop, Marlow * Mad About Gardens, Marlow