Daughter of woman seen in 9/11 'Dust Lady' photograph recounts mother's experience as a survivor

Known as the "Dust Lady," Bayonne resident Marcy Borders spent the next decade her life impacted by the traumatic events that took place on Sept. 11, 2001.

News 12 Staff

Sep 11, 2021, 12:05 AM

Updated 947 days ago

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Known as the "Dust Lady," Bayonne resident Marcy Borders spent the next decade of her life impacted by the traumatic events that took place on Sept. 11, 2001.
Unfortunately, Marcy Borders died from stomach cancer in 2015. It was believed to be related to the toxins she inhaled on 9/11.
To this day, she is the focus of a photo that exemplified what her and many others' experience was like as a survivor of 9/11.
The iconic "Dust Lady" photo shows Marcy Borders covered in dust and ash after the south tower of the World Trade Center collapsed.  
In the photo, she has a look of shock and fear.
At the time, she was an employee of Bank of America, and had just escaped from the 81st floor of the North Tower.
She went to Bayonne High School, lived on Andrew Street for many years and continued to live there for the rest of her life with her two children.  
Her daughter Noelle Borders was 8 at the time of the attacks.
She shared with News 12 that for many years, her mother did not like the photo because it triggered the fear of that day.
Noelle explained that her mother only started to feel safe after Osama bin Laden was reported dead.  
For many years, Marcy Borders suffered from PTSD following the attacks.
Her daughter shared, "She felt like, 'Oh my God, they're going to be after me next because they know what I look like.'"
Once bin Laden was reported dead, Marcy Borders finally felt safe and stopped doing the things she used to do, her daughter says.
Marcy Borders eventually made it back to New York City, but never returned to ground zero.
She was eventually proud to help others with PTSD.


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