Marcy Borders, famously known as the “Dust Lady,” survived the devastating 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.
She was covered in dust and captured in an iconic photo that symbolized the tragedy. Borders was inside the North Tower when the plane hijacked by al Qaeda crashed into the building.
With immense courage, she made her way down 81 floors, witnessing horrifying scenes along the way. Borders eventually escaped the collapsing South Tower with the help of a stranger.
Explained in a film produced by Mike McGregor (featured below), Borders explains, “My supervisor had thought maybe a small jet plane might have nept us. But at that time, we had no idea what was going on.”
“Every time I inhaled, my mouth just filled up with it. I was choking. 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. I didn’t want to die,” she explains.
Despite surviving the attacks, Borders tragically battled trauma for a decade and was diagnosed with stomach cancer. Her story remains a haunting reminder of the human impact of that fateful day.
Borders died on August 24, 2015 at age 42.
Uncertainty surrounds the direct link between the toxic fumes and her stomach cancer. However, as of August 2015, approximately 3,700 survivors and first responders in close proximity to the World Trade Center site had been diagnosed with terrorist attack-related cancers.
To the world, Marcy Borders became famous as the “Dust Lady” of 9/11 thanks to an iconic photograph. However, to her loved ones, she was not just a 9/11 victim; she was simply Marcy.
“Not only is she the Dust Lady, but she is my hero,” her daughter Noelle said. “And the dust has settled, and she is free now.”