MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - According to NBC, a new study shows that ticks are being found in areas across the country where they have never been seen before.
Kevin Wolfe, founder of the Alabama Lyme Disease Association, has known this for years; however, doctors told him he was crazy.
"When we brought that up, at some point we were told by the physician that it can't be Lyme disease because we don't have Lyme disease in Alabama," said Wolfe.
Wolfe's son was 7 years old when he got sick.
"My son got ill. We didn't know what it was. At the time, we were visiting Arkansas and we came back and he had a number of symptoms. He had flu-like symptoms and joint pain and extreme fatigue," Wolfe said.
Doctors diagnosed his son with other illnesses like the flu, a sinus infection, even meningitis.
"Nothing they did took care of the symptoms and the symptoms kept accumulating," Wolfe said.
So, the Wolfes took things into their own hands and began doing some research. That's when they stumbled upon Lyme disease.
"With the combination of all of his symptoms, all pointed to Lyme disease," said Wolfe.
Their search for a doctor who would believe them spanned three states and 25 different physicians.
"They would always tell us they've never seen anything like this," Wolfe said.
That's when Wolfe came up with the idea for the Alabama Lyme Disease Association. He founded it as a way to raise awareness and bring people together.
"I started connecting with other people primarily through Facebook, you know, found others that were affected and it was literally one-by-one and then they would know other people, they would be connected to other people," said Wolfe.
Eventually, Wolfe stumbled upon a doctor who did believe him and who diagnosed his son with the disease.
Looking back at his son's struggle and the awareness it brought to physicians about the disease, Wolfe feels vindicated.
"I think that has helped the whole national conversation on it. I actually do think that we had a large part in that," said Wolfe.