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Alec Baldwin opens up about Lyme disease battle

The actor mentioned briefly to the New York Times in 2011 that he had a chronic form of the bacterial infection, which is spread by infected ticks.

Alec Baldwin thought he was going to die the first time he experienced the symptoms of Lyme disease.

The former 30 Rock actor mentioned briefly to the New York Times in 2011 that he had a chronic form of the bacterial infection, which is spread by infected ticks, but he has remained quiet about his health crisis ever since.

However, he broke his silence about it on Sunday (21May17) when he made an appearance at the Bay Area Lyme Foundation LymeAid benefit for research at a private home in Portola Valley, California.

According to People.com, the 59-year-old said he was bitten by a tick 17 years ago and had been given a shot and then was bitten again a few years later, and he believes he had the disease before he was diagnosed with it.

"I got the classic Lyme disease (symptoms) for each successive summer, for five years, every August, like this black lung, flu-like symptoms, sweating to death in my bed," Baldwin said. "The first round (was the worst), and then it diminished, at least that's how I perceived it.

"The first time was the worst of all... And I really thought this is it, I'm not going to live. I was alone, I wasn't married at the time, I was divorced from my first wife. I was lying in bed saying, 'I'm going to die of Lyme disease,' in my bed and 'I hope someone finds me and I'm not here for too long.'"

As a consequence of his health battle, Alec and Hilaria regularly check their children; Carmen, three, Rafael, 23 months, and Leonardo, eight months, for tick bites using a magnifying glass.

Bay Area Lyme Foundation Executive Director Linda Giampa explained that she had been trying to get Alec to appear at the benefit for years and he finally agreed last year. She added, "I think he just felt the time was right to talk about it."

The benefit dinner and concert raised more than $8 million (£6 million) which will all go to fund research for Lyme disease, which also affects celebrities such as Avril Lavigne, reality star Yolanda Hadid and daughter Bella.

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