9/11 Survivor Seen in Iconic Photo Covered in Dust Dies

27 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

9/11 survivor ‘Dust Lady’ dies.

This Sept. 11, 2001 file photo shows Marcy Borders covered in dust as she takes refuge in an office building after one of the World Trade Center towers collapsed in New York.She may have been made famous by a picture taken on 9/11, but Marcy Borders’ life was shattered in that day’s wake—as she told our correspondent 10 years later.

“My mom fought an amazing battle,” her daughter, Noelle Borders, told The New York Post. “Not only is she the ‘Dust Lady’ but she is my hero, and she will forever live through me.” According to New York news reports, Borders had just started a job with Bank of America, on the 81st floor of the North Tower. With Marcy Borders’s death from stomach cancer, aged 42, the picture is back again, of course: Borders, caked in dust on September 11, 2001, looking stunned at the camera, caught on the day that would come to define her far-too-short life. A woman who became known as the “Dust Lady” after being captured on camera in the aftermath of the 9/11 attack on New York City has died after a battle with cancer, her brother confirmed to NBC News. When I see that famous image I recall meeting her nearly 10 years later, and us both standing in the living room of her apartment in Bayonne, New Jersey, looking at the dress she wore that day which she had kept unwashed. It still smelled of smoke and burning, it was still dusty, and had a soot-like film to it, a thick, claggy texture: a remnant of a terrible day that still reeked and felt of that day.

I don’t have high blood pressure . . . high cholesterol, diabetes.” Some types of cancers are among the illnesses covered by the Sept. 11 compensation fund, but it is unclear whether there is a link between the disease and the wreckage and debris left after the attacks. Instead of remaining at her desk, as her supervisor had ordered, she fled from the office – ending up in the chaotic street, which was heaving with enormous clouds of dust and the hordes of walking wounded. It inspired, much to her horror and upset she told me, Halloween costumes. “It’s very sad to hear about Marcy’s passing,” Stan Honda said in an email to me. “She seemed to have a tough life.” He declined to comment further, writing it was more appropriate for her family to do so. Borders herself—interviewed in November by the Jersey Journal—said of suffering from cancer: “I try not to cry—$190,000 already and I still haven’t had surgery, and I still need more chemo. I’m just tired.” “I’m saying to myself ‘Did this thing ignite cancer cells in me?’” I definitely believe it because I haven’t had any illnesses.

How do you go from being healthy to waking up the next day with cancer?” Bordes wrote: “I’m not comfortable with sharing personal matters in this forum, however, due to the magnitude of her life and her documented legacy throughout her journey. Thank you all for your heartfelt wishes and concerns… In addition to losing so many friends, coworkers, and colleagues on and after that tragic day. To mark the tenth anniversary of 9/11, The Times of London, the newspaper I then worked for, wanted me to track down those made famous in the photographs of that day—which would also include Ed Fine, the so-called ‘Dust Man,’ and Donna Spera, who was photographed being carried away from the dust and chaos of the scene by Dominic Guadagnoli. I wanted to end it.” Her then-partner Donald Edwards, Zayden’s father, was a huge support: “He doesn’t do drugs and he tried to help me even though I was horrible to him. She had been in the job a month and felt she was, as she put it, “moving on up.” “That morning I was at the copy machine when it happened,” she recalled to me. “I heard a whoosh and the building rocked back and forth.

I started seeing paper falling outside the windows, chairs and computers and eventually people. “I saw cracks in the wall, which made me worried the building would fall. It was at that point that ‘the picture’ was taken.” Eventually Borders walked uptown, then got back to Bayonne by ferry, that evening. “I thought we would die, that the boat would be hit by a missile,” she said. “I was in newspapers all over the world, even Arabic ones—I started to think Osama bin Laden would come after me,” Borders told me. “I was just thinking crazy. Whether Marcy Borders’ cancer was in any way caused by what she experienced on 9/11, given what she endured in its aftermath this warm, intelligent, and tough woman certainly can be counted as another of that day’s many victims.

Our partners
Follow us
Contact us
Our contacts

About this site