A GROUP of seriously ill children and their families enjoyed an early Christmas treat when they were whisked away to Disneyland Paris.

The trip is made every year in December for youngsters suffering from some form of cancer and is organised by The Thomas Ball Children’s Cancer Fund.

It offers a three-day break in their treatment and a chance for the young patients and their loved ones to enjoy a short break from the pressures of illness and treatment.

Thomas Ball died at the age of 14 in 2003 after a six-year battle with neuroblastoma. During this time he set up the charity, based in Prestwood.

Thomas' mum, Elaine Ball runs the fund and organises the Disney trip every year.

She said: "The weather was kind to us this year and all families had a truly memorable experience.

“Having a child with a life threatening illness is devastating but families deal with this trauma with such courage and grace and the holiday to Disney is just the tonic they all need."

The group included children and teenagers from Marlow, Chesham and Western Turville.

They left for the resort on December 6, marking the charity's fifth annual Christmas Disney trip. A single donor gave the charity £12,000 toward funding the holiday, for the third year running.

The charity also provides holiday cottages in Hampshire for use by sick children and their families.

For more information on the The Thomas Ball Children's Cancer Fund, or to donate money, visit www.thomasball.org.uk or call Elaine Ball on 01494 890157.