Designer Donna Karan paid tribute to her "warrior" heroine on national TV in America on Friday (21OCT05), when she revealed all about former model LYNN KOHLMAN's double cancer hell.

The 1970s pin-up, who has been a creative consultant for Karan since quitting the modelling business, underwent a double mastectomy in 2002 after being diagnosed with breast cancer and then suffered another blow in 2003 when she developed brain cancer.

Kohlman was given just six months to live after suffering a seizure during a yoga session, but continues to amaze medics and friends like Karan with her fighting spirit.

The designer is such a fan of the former model's strength she asked pal Oprah Winfrey if Kohlman could be included in an episode of her daily talk show which featured real-life heroes who fought back from the brink of death.

Karan told Winfrey on the show that her friend was a muse for her creations: "DKNY started off as masculine/feminine and I said, 'Lynn, you are DKNY!'"

And the designer admitted she thought her pal looked her best after brain surgery when she had 39 titanium staples in her head.

She explained, "I thought it was brilliant. I loved it. I didn't want her to take out the staples. I thought they looked so cool."

Photographer Kohlman has released a new book, LYNN: FRONT TO BACK, which details her cancer fight and features pictures of her at the height of her modelling career and after she had both breasts removed.