PDLF was set up in 1983 and was registered as a Charity in 1984 to support the development of Clinical Haematology in Plymouth. Previously patients were treated by General Physicians or travelled to London for their care.
Dr Archie Prentice, Consultant Haematologist, was appointed in 1981 and started to treat patients locally but facilities were inadequate. There were long waiting list in London centres. Patients and their relatives were keen to be treated locally. One of the first prime-movers was Sylvia Driscoll. The early days of the fundraising was strongly supported by the Plymouth Evening Herald.
Birch ward with four barrier rooms was built in Derriford Hospital in 1988 (costing £135,000). Dr Adrian Copplestone was appointed in 1987 and the first local bone marrow transplants were started in 1988. Dr Michael Hamon joined the team in 1993 and started Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Transplants.
Bracken Ward was converted into the new South West Peninsula Transplant Service with the help of funding from PDLF and the Birch ward converted into a large Day Case Unit. PDLF contributed £330,000 towards the costs and members were involved in the designs.
In 2012 Dr Hannah Hunter and Dr Patrick Medd undertook the first Matched Unrelated Donor Transplant enabling patients to have the full range of modern treatments locally.
For the past two decades, PDLF has been run by a committee of Trustees and members meet at the Annual General Meeting every April.