Our history

Leukaemia UK was founded in 1977 by Derek Mitchell after his wife Isobel was treated for leukaemia at King's College Hospital in London. Originally named The Elimination of Leukaemia Fund, the charity supported the work of King's haematology department but grew to be able to offer grants to blood cancer specialists in hospitals across the UK. 

Over the last 40 years we have helped to make groundbreaking changes to blood cancer care. Less than three decades ago, there were no beds dedicated to the care of leukaemia patients at King's and its haematology department was on the brink of closure.

Now, thanks to Leukaemia UK, there are four specialist blood cancer wards at King's, including the superb Leukaemia Treatment Suite which, fittingly, is named after our founder, Derek Mitchell.

  • Read more about our history here.

Our charity today

Many of the changes to blood cancer care pioneered by Leukaemia UK with King's are now routinely used by hospitals across the country.

Today Leukaemia UK is proud to be making a difference to people living with blood cancer by:

  • Funding essential emotional support
  • Offering vital help to ease financial worries
  • Funding innovative and effective research into better care and treatments for leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma and other blood disorders.
  • Working closely with hospitals and clinicians to improve care, including funding additional staff, paying for ward and room refurbishments and buying new blood cancer care equipment.

Thanks to the generous support of individual fundraisers, payroll givers and family trusts, Leukaemia UK has made a significant and lasting difference to leukaemia treatment in the UK.

Leukaemia UK relies entirely on your voluntary donations. Find out how to support us continue our important work.