Boating enthusiasts enjoy freedom on the water with Mercury Marine Joystick Piloting System

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For the past 41 years, Kerry Gruson of Miami, Florida has been wheelchair-bound, and while she has lost the ability to manipulate most of her body, the one thing she hasn’t lost is her passion for the water.

Gruson, a veteran journalist who spent time with the New York Times, Boston Globe, Chicago Sun-Times and Miami News among others, was on her way to cover the Vietnam War in 1974 when she was attacked and choked nearly to death. The incident left her permanently disabled at just 26 years old. But over the past four decades, her love for boating has grown, and she has constantly found a way to get out on the water.

During the recent 2015 Miami International Boat Show, Gruson and a friend, John Muir, had the opportunity to take to the waves and climbed aboard a Mako 284, powered by twin Mercury 350hp Warm Fusion White Verado outboard engines Joystick Piloting for Outboards.

As Gruson said, it’s a chance for her to “rule the waves with controlled freedom.”

See Kerry’s story from Miami at

“It’s an indescribably good feeling,” said Muir, a long-time friend of Gruson. “It gives Kerry the freedom to take family and friends on the water. It opens up the world to Kerry.”

Gruson has limited use of her arms and legs but with assistance, is able to wrap her hand around the joystick and feel a sense of freedom that was otherwise taken from her.

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