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

26 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

9/11 ‘Dust Lady’ Marcy Borders dies of cancer at age 42.

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.When the World Trade Center’s South Tower collapsed, just before 10 a.m. on Sept. 11, 2001, photographer Stan Honda was in lower Manhattan, taking pictures of the incomprehensible scene. “There was a giant roar, like a train, and between the buildings I could see huge clouds of smoke and dust billowing out,” Honda recounted years later. “A woman came in completely covered in grey dust,” Honda recalled in 2011. “You could tell she was nicely dressed for work and for a second she stood in the lobby.“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. Hundreds of studies conducted in the 14 years since the terror attack show that thousands of first responders and people working and living in downtown Manhattan at the time have been diagnosed with mental and physical ailments related to the attack.

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. 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. Researchers have called for continued monitoring of survivors and long-term analysis of medical conditions experienced by those people – in part because cancer can take much longer to develop than respiratory illness. 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. The air at Ground Zero contained pulverized concrete, shards of glass and carcinogens, according to a 2011 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report.

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. Residents of lower Manhattan filed a class action lawsuit in 2004 against the former head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Christine Whitman, accusing the agency of misleading people about the safety of the air around Ground Zero in the wake of the attack. But when a Jersey Journal reporter asked last year if she ever looked at Honda’s photo, she said tried to avoid seeing herself as the “Dust Lady.”

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. The program initially excluded cancer, but was amended in 2012 after a push by politicians who said there was sufficient evidence to prove a connection between the attack and cancer.

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.

The pains from yesteryear have found a way to resurface…” Whether her exposure to the dust and whatever else caused her cancer may be unknown, but the effects of that day had already been grievous for Borders when I met her in her modest apartment in August 2011. 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 felt like it was the end of the world and I had front-row seats.” Three minutes after she got out of the building, the South Tower fell. “The smoke caught me and threw me on all fours,” Borders told me. “I breathed in and my mouth was coated.

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.

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