Baldwin has been reluctant to talk about the disease, and Bay Area Lyme Foundation Executive Director Linda Giampa said that she has been trying for years to get him to come to their event.
“We had already sold out the event for 350 people on that night when I was told, I asked if he would do it the next night and he graciously agreed,” Giampa said. “I think he just felt the time was right to talk about it.”
Baldwin said that he believed he had chronic Lyme disease even before he was diagnosed with it, he was bitten about 17 years ago, and got a shot, then he was bitten again a few 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 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,” he 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,’ in my bed and ‘I hope someone finds me and I’m not here for too long.’ ”