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Cancer Kills ‘Dust Lady’ 9/11 Survivor, Captured in Iconic Photo

© AP Photo / David KarpFire and smoke billows from the north tower of New York's World Trade Center Tuesday Sept. 11, 2001 after terrorists crashed two hijacked airliners into the World Trade Center and brought down the twin 110-story towers.
Fire and smoke billows from the north tower of New York's World Trade Center Tuesday Sept. 11, 2001 after terrorists crashed two hijacked airliners into the World Trade Center and brought down the twin 110-story towers. - Sputnik International
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Marcy Borders, the 9/11 survivor known for the haunting photo taken of her during the terrorist attack, died on Monday night after a year-long battle with stomach cancer.

9/11 Terrorist Attack - Sputnik International
Scientist Who Analyzed Dust From 9/11 Attacks Dies Suddenly
Known to the world as the "Dust Lady," Marcy Borders was just 28 years old and a month into her job as a legal assistant for the Bank of America in the World Trade Center’s North Tower. When the first plane struck the South Tower on the morning of September 11, 2001, Borders fled down a stairway and into the lobby of an adjacent building.

She was dressed in business attire and was covered head-to-toe in dust when photographer Stan Honda took a picture.

"A woman came in completely covered in grey dust," Honda wrote on Facebook, recalling the day. "You could tell she was nicely dressed for work and for a second she stood in the lobby. I took one shot of her before the police officer started to direct people up a set of stairs, thinking it would be safer off the ground level."

The picture, known as the "Dust Lady," would later become one of the most iconic images of the tragic day.

Borders succumbed to stomach cancer on Monday night, according to Facebook posts by her family members. Her brother, Michael Borders, said he needed people’s prayers.

"I can’t believe my sister is gone," he posted later.

Writing that she has "unfortunately succumbed to the diseases that (have) ridden her body since 9/11," her cousin John Bordes called her his "hero," and said that the tragedy of the attacks has "found a way to resurface" after her death.

After surviving the attacks, Borders fell into a state of depression and struggled with drug and alcohol addiction to cope with the trauma. She checked into rehab in 2011, and later told The Jersey Journal that she had stayed clean since.

A mother of two, Borders had just started working again with a candidate’s local campaign for mayor when she was diagnosed with stomach cancer. She told the Jersey Journal that she believed the disease was tied to the 9/11 attacks.

"I’m saying to myself ‘did this thing ignite cancer cells in me?'" She said. "I definitely believe it because I haven’t had any illnesses. I don’t have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes."

Asked whether she looks at her “Dust Lady” picture, Borders said she tried to avoid it as much as possible.

9/11 Terrorist Attack - Sputnik International
Scientist Who Analyzed Dust From 9/11 Attacks Dies Suddenly

"I try to take myself from being a victim to being a survivor," she said. "I don’t want to be a victim anymore."

Her daughter, Noelle, told the New York Post that she will remember her mother as a fighter and a hero.

"My mom fought an amazing battle. Not only is she 'Dust Lady,' but she is my hero and she will forever live through me."

Around 3,700 survivors and first responders at the site of the 9/11 attacks have been diagnosed with cancer, according the CDC’s Worth Trade Center Health Program reports. The reports found that multiple chemical carcinogens were released as a result of the towers’ collapse.

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