Marcy Borders, who became known as the “dust lady” from a defining picture of her covered in ash and grime on Sept. 11, 2001, died on Monday. She was 42.
Her sister, Dawn Borders, said she died from stomach cancer.
Ms. Borders was an employee of.......
Bank of America in 2001, and was working on the 81st floor of the north tower of the World Trade Center on the day of the terrorist attacks.
She described her experience in a video interview published by the filmmaker Mike McGregor three years ago.
“We had no idea what was going on,” she said of the plane’s impact. “The way the building was shaking, I couldn’t sit there.”
In the chaos that followed, Ms. Borders retreated to a crowded stairwell where she was chased by a cloud of smoke and dust.
“Every time I inhaled, my mouth filled up with it, I was choking,” she said. “I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face. I was just saying to myself and saying out loud that I didn’t want to die.”
She was eventually led downstairs and into a neighboring building by another person, where her picture was taken by a photographer for Agence France-Presse, Stan Honda.
A resident of Bayonne, N.J., Ms. Borders told The Jersey Journal last year that she was suffering from stomach cancer, the latest in a string of hardships that she experienced after the collapse of the towers. She also struggled with depression and drug addiction, and was having trouble paying her medical bills which left her unable to take medication in the prescribed dosages.
Ms. Borders told The Journal that she avoided looking at Mr. Honda’s image of her.
“I don’t want to be a victim anymore,” she said.
She is survived by her daughter, Noelle, and son, Zayden.
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