9/11 'Dust Lady' Dies From Cancer at 42

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A woman who became known as "The Dust Lady" after she was captured in an iconic photo on 9/11 has passed away from stomach cancer aged 42.

Marcy Borders' family announced her death on Facebook on Tuesday.

Borders had only worked for Bank of America for a month when the first plane hit 1 World Trade Center in 2001. The then-28-year-old fled the 81st floor down a stairwell and had reached the ground floor when the second plane hit.

Read: 9/11 'Dust Lady' Reunites with Ground Zero

A photograph of her emerging - shell-shocked and covered in dust - became a haunting reminder of the horror of that day.

Photographer Stan Honda told INSIDE EDITION in 2011: "It was an eerie sight to see someone elegantly dressed like that, and completely covered in dust."

After the tragedy, she turned to alcohol and drugs, and her two children were taken into care.

"I just couldn’t cope," she told The Daily Telegraph in 2011. "Every time I saw an airplane, I thought there would be another attack. I could not get that day out of my mind."

She added that she kept the smart clothes she had been wearing at the time of the attacks, but never looked at them.

After spiralling into addiction, she went to rehab in 2011 and eventually returned to work.

In 2011, INSIDE EDITION was there when she made an emotional trip back to Ground Zero for the first time since the attacks.

She said at the time: "I look at that picture now as victory, not the victim."

In August 2014, she was diganosed with stomach cancer.

Read: Celine Dion Says Her Cancer-Stricken Husband Wants to 'Die In My Arms'

"I'm saying to myself: 'Did this thing ignite cancer cells in me?'" she said in an interview with The Jersey Journal last year.

"I definitely believe it because I haven't had any illnesses. I don't have high blood pressure... high cholesterol, diabetes...  How do you go from being healthy to waking up the next day with cancer?" 

She would not be the first survivor to be diagnosed with cancer. More than 4,000 first responders, rescue workers and survivors who have been diagnosed with cancer linked to the attacks, the CDC reported in May.

Images: Getty

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