Designer Donna Karan Backs Yoga Project At Beth Isreal Hospital Cancer WardNews, Treatment — By nygal on November 3, 2008 at 9:13 am
Famed fashion designer Donna Karan has sponsored a major project at Beth Israel to clinically prove that yoga, meditation and aromatherapy can enhance regimens of chemotherapy and radiation in treating cancer.
Karan, founder of the DKNY line of clothing and a yoga enthusiast, has donated $850,000, through her Urban Zen Foundation, for a year-long experiment combining Eastern and Western healing methods at the Beth Israel Medical Centre in Manhattan.
Karan traces her commitment to integrative medicine to what she saw as the limited treatment of her sculptor husband and business partner, Stephan Weiss, who died of lung cancer in 2001 at the age of 62.
Instead of just letting a celebrated donor adopt a hospital wing, renovate it and have her name embossed on a plaque, the Karan-Beth Israel project will have a celebrated donor turn a hospital into a testing ground for a trendy, medically controversial notion: that yoga, meditation and aromatherapy can enhance regimens of chemotherapy and radiation. Ms. Karan’s yoga masters, Rodney Yee and Colleen Saidman Yee, will oversee the experiment.
Ms. Karan hopes to prove that the Urban Zen regime can reduce classic symptoms of cancer and its treatment, like pain, nausea and anxiety (thereby cutting hospital stays and costs) and serve as a model for replication elsewhere.