Getting your learner's permit to drive is a big deal for anyone. For one local teen, getting behind the wheel is a much bigger deal.
Like most 16-year-olds, Dan Krenzer can't wait to get behind the wheel.
"I'm pretty good. I haven't had much practice this summer because I've traveled a lot and haven't been home."
Like any parents of a 16-year-old, his mom and dad are a little apprehensive.
"You always have the lump in your throat," said mom Denise. "You just want to give them their independence."
The fact that Dan is able to drive at all, didn't seem possible, at one time.
"It's basically under control, and I'm used to it by now."
It is the eye troubles he started experiencing at age six.
"We didn't know what a long road we had ahead of us at that point," said Denise.
"At one point I was actually legally blind," Dan said. "So I could only see like shapes and colors."
"It's bothered us a whole lot more than he has," said father Ed.
"I was just a kid when it was at it's worst, so I really couldn't comprehend how bad it was."
The pictures tell the story.
"These are photos of Daniel's cataract," said Dr. Yousef Khalifa.
Khalifa is part of a team of University of Rochester Medical Centers who've, for the past decade, treated Dan.
"His parents noticed his eye turning in, and when a kid's eye turns in obviously something is not right," Khalifa said.
Doctors determined Dan had uvitis, an inflammatory disease that causes serious cataracts, glaucoma and other eye troubles. Through operations, and immonosuppressing medications, doctors were able to control the disease.
"Without these new medications, and the advances in opthalmic care that we have nowadays, he would have been blind at this point," said Khalifa.
Through the years, Daniel has undergone five separate operations on his eyes. He still goes through periodic infusions of medication to help manage his condition.
"You know, it's really quite miraculous somebody at six years old, told he was going to be blind for the rest of his life, and now he's basically 20/25, 20/30... fairly normal vision," Khalifa said.
Which brings us back to that one desire of most 16-year-olds.
"I was kind of thinking that I wanted to drive, but I didn't know if I could, but I was pretty confident that I could," Dan said.
His doctors gave the green light.
"The kid's come a long way into getting behind the wheel of a car and to have him experience that was just an awesome event, the day he called and said, 'Dad I'm ready,'" Ed said.
Daniel recently obtained his learner's permit. His parents still worry.
"There's always in the back of your mind that it could get worse again, but I feel more confident that there are ways to manage it," said Denise.
Worry about his health. Worry about their son behind the wheel.
"I need to work on my judgment behind the wheel because I ask my mom or day what do I do now? What do I do?"
With all he's been through, Dan, doesn't appear worried at all.
"I adapt to any roadblocks my condition may cause. So I'm used to it. It's not that big of a deal to me."