Alec Baldwin was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2011 and has been hesitant to speak about his life with the illness, but he finally opened up this week.

ALEC BALDWIN OPENS UP ABOUT LYME DISEASE

The actor explains that he was bitten by a tick about 17 years ago and received a shot for it, but was unknowingly bitten again years later. “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 told People. “The first round [was the worst], and then it diminished, at least that’s how I perceived it.”

Baldwin attended the Bay Area Lyme Foundation LymeAid benefit for research to talk about his experience with the disease. The Foundation Executive Director Linda Giampa tells that she has been trying to get Baldwin to attend and speak for years. He finally agreed, and his appearance was almost canceled due to the SNL finale, on which he portrayed Donald Trump.

“The first time was the worst of all,” Baldwin recalled. “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,’ and, ‘I hope someone finds me and I’m not here for too long.’

My oldest, my youngest…

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“I want my kids to grow up riding horses and bikes and enjoying themselves every day and not have to spend every day with us going over them with a magnifying glass to make sure they don’t have any ticks on their body or their dogs, but that is part of the lifestyle of where I live,” he added.

The benefit dinner and concert raised over $800,000, all of which will go directly to funding for Lyme disease research.