Marcy Borders, the woman who became known as the “Dust Lady” after the terrorist attacks in New York City on September 11, 2001 died at Monday at the age of 42 after a battle with stomach cancer.
The photograph featured Borders, completely covered in white dust, after she emerged from the World Trade Center, where she started a new job on the 81st floor with Bank of America just a month prior to the attacks.
“The building started quaking and swaying. I lost all control, and I went into a frenzy. I fought my way out of that place,” she recalled back in 2011, explaining that she had gone against her boss’ orders to stay put before making her way to the bottom of the building where she was photographed by Stan Honda.
Borders was initially unaware the photo had been taken until her mother saw it the following day.
According to her family, the mother of two suffered a great deal of physical ailments following the attacks, coupled with alcoholism and other addictions, anxiety and severe depression, but despite her struggles, the family still called her a “hero.”