Dusty's Place was founded by Kimberly "Dusty" Leal in early 2003 in response to her personal triumph over systemic scleroderma. Dusty's journey started with her first symptoms of the disease in the summer of 1995. Realizing that a cure would most likely not occur before the disease took her life, Dusty started the education process that would bring her back to optimum health. Dusty's amazing recovery was accomplished by combining Western with Complementary and Alternative (CAM) medicine. Ms. Leal's philosophy is to embrace "whatever works" despite any stigmas that might exist in different environments.
In June of 2002, Ms. Leal decided to go public with her story after hearing about the passing of Sharon Monsky, a pioneer in scleroderma research and founder of the Scleroderma Research Foundation. Sharon fought hard for a cure but unfortunately lost her life to the disease. Moved by this loss, Ms. Leal started contacting the organizations that fund and facilitate the search for a cure. Dusty's Place was formed because nobody had any interest in her story. The tenacity that Dusty used to heal herself has been channeled into a passion to help others with scleroderma. She has created a "place" for people to go to who are looking for information and are willing to "think outside the box".