Famous ‘Dust Lady’ Survivor Pictured in 9/11 Photo, Dies of Cancer
You may not know the name, but you know the photograph.
Marcy Borders was the 9/11 survivor pictured in a haunting snap where she can be seen covered head-to-toe in dust after seeking shelter in an office building after one of the World Trade Centers collapsed on September 11th, 2001.
Now, at the age of just 42, Borders has passed away from stomach cancer.
John Borders, Marcy’s cousin, wrote on Facebook, that Borders “unfortunately succumbed to the diseases that has ridden her body since 9/11.” Borders, from Bayonne, New Jersey, had only been working at Bank of America for a month when she was forced to flee the north tower where she worked when a plane slammed into it. Her boss had ordered her to stay at her desk. Instead, Borders fled the building with fellow survivors. She was pulled into a building lobby just as the north tower fell. That’s when a photographer caught her terrified expression in the iconic photo.
After the attacks, Borders suffered from severe depression and developed an addiction to crack. In 2011, she told the Post, “I didn’t do a day’s work in nearly 10 years and by 2011 I was a complete mess. Every time I saw an aircraft, I panicked.” Her two children were taken from her, and she checked into rehab in April 2011, ultimately gaining sobriety and custody of her children. When Borders discovered last year that she had stomach cancer, she wondered if the events of 9/11 might have spurred the illness.
Her daughter, Noelle, says of her mother, “My mom fought an amazing battle. Not only is she the ‘Dust’ lady’ but she is my hero and she will forever live through me.”