In 1984, Dr. Harvey Golomb of the University of Chicago was conducting a clinical study of the effects of interferon on hairy cell leukemia. With the support of Dr. Golomb and other researchers, several participants in the study formed the Hairy Cell Leukemia Research Foundation, Inc. to raise funds for further research. Over the next thirty years, the Foundation continued to work with leading hairy cell leukemia experts from around the world and to raise funds to support their research. The Foundation, made up of all-volunteer hairy cell survivors, was also dedicated to providing educational and emotional support to patients and their families through a toll-free phone number and website.

In 2005, a recently diagnosed hairy cell leukemia patient searched the internet for information about the disease. As a result of his research, he found inconsistent information regarding the treatment of hairy cell leukemia. Believing that all patients should have access to the best information and care, he sought to create a centralized repository for the latest knowledge on hairy cell leukemia. More importantly, he wanted to provide patients with the opportunity to communicate directly with doctors that specialized in the treatment of hairy cell leukemia. With the help of Dr. Michael Grever, Chair of Internal Medicine at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, he created the Hairy Cell Leukemia Consortium. The Consortium is a group of medical professionals from leading institutions around the world working together to provide patients with the latest information and treatment options.

In 2013, the Hairy Cell Leukemia Research Foundation, Inc. and the Hairy Cell Leukemia Consortium joined together to form the Hairy Cell Leukemia Foundation. We are now one organization dedicated to improving outcomes for patients by advancing research into the causes and treatment of hairy cell leukemia, as well as by providing educational resources and comfort to all those affected by hairy cell leukemia.