05/02/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Donna Karan's Yoga NYC Project: HELPING WITH CANCER

Fashion is the last thing on Donna Karan's mind at the moment. When she says the designer's role is "not only to dress people but to address them as well," it is clear she will not be chatting about her latest wardrobe creations.

A longtime practitioner of yoga and meditation, she has contributed $850,000 to the Beth Israel Medical Center to bring yoga therapy and a new kind of caregiving to the cancer wing. Sitting in her Urban Zen studio on Greenwich Street and sipping a bottle of green vegetable and fruit juice, Karan launches into a personal and at times teary monologue about how she hopes to make a difference.