read about the passing of Marcy Borders, who was working as an assistant at Bank of America on the 81st floor of the World Trade Center's north tower the morning of Sept. 11. Then 28, Borders frantically made her way down the stairwell -- "sometimes it felt like I jumped whole floors" -- to the sidewalk just as the south tower began to fall. A stranger pulled her into the lobby of a nearby building as the other tower began to tumble, and Stan Honda snapped what became an iconic photograph.
“I can’t believe my sister is gone,” Borders’ brother Michael Borders wrote on Facebook of her death Monday. The mother of two was a native and lifelong resident of Bayonne, N.J. She was diagnosed with stomach cancer last August and had been undergoing treatments, according to NJ.com.
On the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks, my pal Tim Teeman tracked Borders down at her New Jersey home, where she had recently completed rehab for drug addiction:
“I hadn’t been right since September 11. My life had been in tumult, on a spiral. My partner Donald, [her 3-year-old son] Zayden’s father, was a huge support: he doesn’t do drugs and he tried to help me even though I was horrible to him. Now I go to Narcotics Anonymous meetings every day."
“Before September 11 I was spontaneous, outgoing, ambitious. I was 28, making good money.... I’d been in the job a month and felt I was moving on up. After September 11, my life went downhill. I was afraid to get on subways or go into state buildings. The last time I had been in a place of work it almost killed me, so I wasn’t interested in work. I had no income. My mother helped me. I drank to the point of blackouts. The drugs came about a year before I went into rehab. I didn’t care. I lost control. Despite my behaviour, Donald stayed. I’m glad he did; if he hadn’t, this place would have turned into a crack hotel."
Particularly sad that someone who survived something so catastrophic would still end up dying prematurely, a stark reminder of the fragility of life.
Read Tim's haunting interview with Borders about the day that changed her life forever HERE.
RIP, "The Woman Who Was Covered in Dust Who Didn’t Know What to Do," as she preferred to be known.