BAYONNE — In the wake of Marcy Borders’ death, neighbors, friends and readers of NJ.com are offering their condolences and sharing their memories from her life and the adversity she fought to overcome.
Borders, the woman known as the “Dust Lady” from the iconic photo taken of her as she escaped from the Twin Towers on Sept. 11, died Monday night after a yearlong battle with stomach cancer, her family members said on Facebook.
Monique Smith-Andrews, who grew up with Borders in Bayonne and helped her after she underwent chemotherapy, said Borders was “a bright, young lady” who was “free-spirited” and “fun.”
“She’s always been well-liked in the community,” she said. “Everyone loved her, loved her personality, her outgoing spirit.”
Meanwhile, Jashawn Baker, 17, a neighbor living across the hall from Borders’ Bayonne apartment, said his family had known her for years. His mother and Borders regularly went to church and a dance group together, he said.
“I was shocked. I didn’t think she was going to pass,” he said, adding that Borders was a “friendly” and “very nice” person who occasionally babysat his younger brother when his family couldn’t be home.
Meanwhile, NJ.com readers offered their condolences.
“So sorry to hear this happened to her. I remember her story very well. RIP Ms Marcy and my condolences go out to her family,” said commenter bjay22.
Commenter jesustakethewheel added: “Was heart broken when I heard the news. I will always hold dear to my heart the times we laughed together rest well Marcy you will forever be missed.”
Borders fell into a decade-long depression that led her to abuse alcohol and drugs after her traumatic experience on 9/11. In 2011, Borders checked into rehab, and had since stayed clean, she told The Jersey Journal last year.
The Bayonne native and mother of two, was just getting back into the working world — helping with a candidate’s local campaign for mayor — when her doctor told her in August 2014 that she had stomach cancer.
Borders, 41 at the time, told The Jersey Journal in November that she had undergone chemotherapy and that she was scheduled to undergo surgery in December and then radiation and chemotherapy afterward.
Michael Borders, Marcy Borders’ brother, said in a Facebook post at 11:22 a.m. on Monday that he needed everyone to pray for her, before posting about 12 hours later: “I can’t believe my sister is gone.”
Borders’ family members couldn’t be reached for comment yesterday.
The famous photo of Marcy Borders shows her — a Bank of America employee at the time — distraught and covered in dust in the aftermath of the attacks in Lower Manhattan.
Jonathan Lin may be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @jlin_jj.