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Once blind teen can now drive

Like most 16-year-olds, Dan Krezner could not wait to get his drivers permit and get behind the wheel. Yea, Ive always wanted to drive, Krenzer said, It's kind of like a rite of passage when you turn 16.

A strong student, Krenzer aced the driving test but it was the vision screening that really had him worried. I was kind of nervous about going into it, Krenzer said, But then they just asked me to read a few lines and I was like oh, that was easy.

Passing the vision test at the DMV was a huge milestone for the Henrietta teenager. It's a pretty big deal, Krenzer said, At one point I was blind and now I can drive.

In third grade, Krenzer was diagnosed with the inflammatory eye disease uveitis.

What uveitis does is it causes this inflammatory material to circulate in the front of the eye, Dr. Yousuf Khalifa said. An opthamologist, Khalifa said cataracts formed behind that inflammation and Krenzers vision quickly deteriorated.

At the age of six, Krenzer was considered legally blind, only able to see shapes and colors.

A team of doctors from the Flaum Eye Institute at the University of Rochester Medical Center and Golisano Childrens Hospital joined forces to treat Krenzer and restore his vision.

The 10-year journey has been an emotional rollercoaster for Krenzer and his family. Theyve had bad days and good days, Khalifa said, When I first met him there were some bad days.

But after a decade treatments, five surgeries, and continued medication, Krezner now has 20-25 vision, which is legal to drive.

It's kind of surreal because a few short years ago was training using a walking cane and learning to use brail, Ed Krenzer said as his son climbed into the drivers seat.

Just before his sixteenth birthday, Krenzer got cleared by his doctors to drive. The smile on his face, it just went from ear to ear, Denise Krenzer said, He was so happy.

Krezner got his permit and after some more practice, he plans to get his license in the fall. I know not to take perfect vision for granted, Krenzer said, I really appreciate every day that I can see.

 
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