Marcy Borders, the subject of the unforgettable photo above, has died of stomach cancer at age 42. Borders was a Bank of America employee who was working on the 81st floor of the World Trade Center’s North Tower when an airplane struck above her; she fled the building and was covered in dust and ash during the fall of the adjacent South Tower, which was struck second but collapsed first. Photographer Stan Honda took her picture after she was pulled into a nearby lobby by a police officer.
In recent interviews Borders told reporters that she had suffered from addiction and depression for a decade after the terrorist attack.
Some evidence has suggested that individuals exposed to conditions at Ground Zero were/are at elevated risk of developing cancer, and the 9/11 victims’ fund covers treatments for some types of the disease including “malignant neoplasm of the stomach.” It’s not clear whether Borders’ diagnosis made her eligible for compensation, and she told the Jersey Journal in 2014 that she was heavily in debt because of medical bills.