Real Life

What happened to the 9/11 ‘Dust Lady’?

Her ghostly look of bewilderment and fear became the emblem of how we all felt on September 11, 2001.

She was the ash covered survivor whose face once reflected our own. Her ghostly look of bewilderment and fear became the emblem of how we all felt on September 11, 2001, but what ever happened to the ‘Dust Lady’? The woman whose name we didn’t know but whose face was emblazoned into our memories forever?

Late last month, almost 14 years after surviving the deadliest day in New York City’s history, Marcy Borders, the Dust Lady, died. Her family members announced on August 24 that the former Bank of America worker had succumb to a yearlong battle with stomach cancer, the New York Post reported.

“I can’t believe my sister is gone,” Michael Borders wrote of the 42-year-old on a Facebook post shortly after Marcy’s death.

John Borders labelled his cousin a “hero” on Facebook, saying she, “unfortunately succumbed to the diseases that has ridden her body since 9/11.”

“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,” he added in a comment.

Marcy Borders was a guest on The View in 2011.

Marcy, of Bayonne New Jersey, was just weeks into her new job as a legal assistant at Bank of America when a plane smashed into the north tower of where she worked on September 11. Her boss reportedly instructed her to stay at her desk but Borders fled and once on the ground she was pulled into a neighboring building just as the first tower fell. That is when a photographer, Stan Honda snapped the iconic image of her.

Borders struggled severely after the terrorist attacks. Her health suffered, she lost custody of her two kids and reportedly became addicted to crack cocaine.

“I didn’t do a day’s work in nearly 10 years, and by 2011 I was a complete mess,” she told The New York Post in 2011 after checking herself into rehab. “Every time I saw an aircraft, I panicked.”

But in November 2014 Marcy revealed to The Jersey Journal she had been diagnosed with stomach cancer and was getting treatment.

Though it had been years since the attacks Borders was constantly plagued by the memories of the event and wondered if her trauma had given way to her ill health.

“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.”

Shortly after Marcy died the Mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio took to Twitter to offer his condolences:

“Marcy Borders’ passing is a difficult reminder of the tragedy our city suffered nearly 14 years ago. NYC holds her loved ones in our hearts,” he wrote.

Video: Ghost moves chair in chilling video.

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