UK

Marcy Borders 9/11 'Dust Lady' Dies Of Stomach Cancer Aged 42

26/08/2015 11:49 BST | Updated 26/08/2015 13:59 BST

It has become one of the defining images of September 11, 2001. A smartly-dressed woman stands in disbelief, visibly distraught, covered from head-to-toe in thick, pearly grey dust.

Marcy Borders' picture travelled the world and portrayed the sheer terror caused by the attacks that day. But having survived the atrocity 14 years ago, Border died on Tuesday, aged 42, after a battle with stomach cancer.

In 2001, the then 28-year-old was a Bank of America employee, just a month into her job on the 81st floor of the North Tower.

READ MORE:How Did 9/11 Really Affect The Long-Term Health Of Survivors?

marcy borders

Marcy Borders covered in dust as she takes refuge in an office building

In a 2011 interview, Borders recalled the day: "On the morning of 9/11, my supervisor thought a small jet place might have nicked the building... I began to panic and they sat me down, the way the building was shaking, I couldn't sit there," she said.

"You had chairs coming out of the building, office supplies, and what I know now, people.

"You just heard people screaming 'stay away from the glass'."

Speaking about the being cloaked in dust, Borders said: "I took chase from this cloud of dust, smoke that's just following me... Every time I inhaled I was just choking."

Her image was used by news outlets across the world, and summed up the ordeal of those near Ground Zero that day.

But in the years since, Borders battled her own issues resulting from her experience.

The Jersey Journal reports she suffered depression and began to drink heavily, attending rehab in 2011.

Last year, she was diagnosed with stomach cancer, and began a course of chemotherapy before undergoing surgery in December.

At the time, she told The Jersey Journal: "I'm saying to myself 'Did this thing ignite cancer cells in me?' I definitely believe it because I haven't had any illnesses. I don't have high blood pressure...high cholesterol, diabetes."

Family paid tribute to Borders on Facebook, with her brother Michael writing: "I can't believe my sister is gone."

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also paid his respects, saying: “Marcy Borders’ passing is a difficult reminder of the tragedy our city suffered nearly 14 years ago. NYC holds her loved ones in our hearts.”