Iconic 9/11 Survivor Known As ‘Dust Lady’ Dies After Battling Stomach Cancer

Dust Lady
A woman known simply as “Dust Lady” was photographed during the 9/11 attacks on New York City. Her iconic photo lived on in the wake of the terrorist attack. We are now learning that the 42-year-old has died from her battle with stomach cancer.

Marcy Borders was only 28-years-old when she became “Dust Lady” after photographer Agence France-Presse captured her walking away from the debris after the second Twin Tower fell. According to USA Today, Borders was pulled to safety as the tower was falling. Her horrified reaction, and formal attire covered in dust was captured for the world to see. Due to the photo, Borders became one of the famous faces of tragedy from that day.

Back in November, Borders gave an interview to the Jersey Journal. Back then she questioned whether or not 9/11 caused her to develop cancer. It wouldn’t be a huge shock as many responders who helped sort through the debris died of different types of cancer. “I’m saying to myself, ‘Did this thing (9/11) ignite cancer cells in me? I definitely believe it because I haven’t had any illnesses. I don’t have high blood pressure … high cholesterol, diabetes.”

After her passing, her brother Michael, wrote in a Facebook post, “I can’t believe my sister is gone.” Her daughter, Noelle Borders, told the New York Post about her mother’s brave battle with stomach cancer, and how much she means to her. “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.” Marcy’s cousin John Borders called her a “hero” on a Facebook post. He went on to say that she, “unfortunately succumbed to the diseases that has ridden her body since 9/11.”

He continued, “In addition to losing so many friends, co-workers and colleagues on and after that tragic day .?.?. the pains from yesteryear have found a way to resurface.”

On that fateful day, Borders was late to work. At the time she was only a month in to her job as a legal assistant at the Bank of America on the 81st floor of 1 World Trade Center. Although she survived the attacks, Borders didn’t walk away without scars from the horrifying event. After the attacks Borders became depressed and turned to alcohol and drugs. She lost custody of her two children at the time.

Borders told the New York Post of the trying time, “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.” She sought treatment in 2011 in rehab and stayed sober. In August of 2014 she was diagnosed with stomach cancer. As her death hit the news, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted out a sentiment about Marcy Borders.

[Photo by Reena Rose Sibayan | The Jersey Journal]

About The Author
Niki Cruz
Niki Cruz is a Freelance Entertainment Journalist based out of New York. With a passion for Film/TV she often contributes to Paste, amNew York and Interview Magazine. Niki spends her time off learning life lessons by binge-watching Dawson’s Creek.