Marcy Borders, the woman who became known as the “Dust Lady” from an iconic 9/11 photo taken of her, covered in dust, right before the south tower of the World Trade Center collapsed, has died of stomach cancer at age 42.
“I can’t believe my sister is gone,” Borders’ brother Michael Borders wrote on Facebook of her death Monday.
Borders was a mother of two, and a resident of Bayonne, N.J. She was diagnosed with cancer last August and had been undergoing treatments, according to reports.
Borders worked as a legal assistant for Bank of America back then, and her office was on the 81st floor of 1 World Trade Center when the towers were attacked. Then 28, Borders managed to get out of the building just before it began to fall. A stranger pulled her into the lobby of a nearby building, and photographer Stan Honda snapped the iconic photograph.
Borders struggled with addiction and depression for more than a decade after 9/11, but checked into rehab in 2011, and remained sober. When she was diagnosed with cancer, Borders questioned if it was related to 9/11.
“I’m saying to myself ‘Did this thing ignite cancer cells in me?’” she told The Jersey Journal. “I definitely believe it because I haven’t had any illnesses. I don’t have high blood pressure . . . high cholesterol, diabetes.”
Borders’ friends and family have expressed their sorrow on social media and have asked that people “keep the Borders Family in prayer.”
Even Mayor de Blasio took to Twitter to speak a word in remembrance.