GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — When time is of the essence, choices become intentional.

“When I first found out about it, it was definitely a traumatic day,” said Tres Fuller.

It was a day he said the clock started.

“I’m slowly losing my vision from the outside in,” said Fuller.

Fuller now focuses on what he can control, like weightlifting at the David D. Hunting YMCA in Grand Rapids. It is one of his favorite pastimes.  

“I enjoy it,” said Fuller.

Fuller builds himself up against Usher syndrome. It is a condition that causes varying degrees of hearing and vision loss. Doctors diagnosed Fuller with it seven years ago when time stood still.

“It was extremely emotional; those first few days took a lot to get out of bed and stand up and go about my businesses,” said Fuller. “One day, I was staring at the ceiling and telling myself, buddy, you got to get up. You got to do something.”

Time healed Fuller’s emotional scars. He has learned to navigate his challenges. 

He can hear lower-pitched sounds best but reads lips and uses hearing aids for help. His vision will fade completely, but doctors do not know when.

“It’s scary,” said Fuller.

It is a weight that can be heavy to carry, but Logan McLeod helps him bear it.

“He’s like a brother to me,” said McLeod. “He’s a genuine person.”

McLeod and Fuller have been best friends for about 20 years and treat each other as if nothing has changed.

“Really, I don’t think he gets treated any differently here, except we make sure to have all the lights on for him,” said McLeod. “Honestly, he’s one of the best guys I know.”

Their friendship has stood the test of time, from college graduation and weddings to births and watching Michigan football.

“He’s a smart person, and he has a lot to offer this world, and I just want him to have all the good things in life,” said McLeod.

From Fuller’s point of view, those good things are the gym and a clearer view of what time won’t take away.

“I also feel a great deal of gratitude for what I do have; that is a big motivating factor for me,” said Fuller. “All things considered, things aren’t too bad.”