A Bank of America worker who became known as the “Dust Lady” after she was photographed covered in ash while fleeing the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, died Monday after battling stomach cancer.
Marcy Borders was 28 years old when her picture was taken, quickly becoming one of the most haunting reminders of the 9/11 attacks in New York City.
Stan Honda, of the Agence France-Presse news agency, captured Borders as she fled the World Trade Center after the first plane struck the North Tower. In the photo, Borders is pictured with her eyes squinted and mouth agape while caked head to toe in ash and concrete dust.
Borders, now 42, was diagnosed with cancer in August 2014 and had wondered if it was related to the terrorist attack, when she was covered in dust while escaping the Twin Towers.
“Did this thing ignite cancer cells in me?'” Borders told the Jersey Journal in an interview last year. “I definitely believe it because I haven’t had any illnesses. I don’t have high blood pressure … high cholesterol, diabetes.”
Several of Borders’ family members posted on Facebook about her passing.
“I can’t believe my sister is gone,” Michael Borders wrote.
“In addition to losing so many friends, coworkers, and colleagues on and after that tragic day … the pain from yesteryear has found a way to resurface,” Borders’ cousin John Borde wrote.
Borders told the Jersey Journal the trauma from escaping the Twin Towers had sent her into a decade of depression, alcohol and drug abuse before entering rehab in 2011.
Her daughter, Noelle, told the New York Post her mother “fought an amazing battle”.
“Not only is she the ‘Dust Lady’ but she is my hero and she will forever live through me.”