La Kota Plafcan is 17, a high school senior, and a cancer patient at Children's Hospital in Minneapolis. She's battled lymphoblastic leukemia, kidney, colon, and ovarian cancers. You name it, she's survived it.
Thursday as La Kota was undergoing chemotherapy at the hospital, somebody smashed in the passenger window of her parents' car and stole the purse she had propped up under the seat and the iPad she'd hidden in the back, where she had stored all her photos of friends, family, Vikings players, and other special visitors over the years she's been in and out of the hospital.
The thief also took the money La Kota had been saving up for a wig to wear to prom.
You have to wonder what kind of person would raid a car parked in front of a children's hospital, but La Kota and her family aren't too concerned about who the thief is or even what they've lost.
Steve Plafcan, La Kota's father, says he's just grateful they didn't come head to head with the thief in the parking lot. As long as his family is safe, everything else is replaceable, he says.
"It doesn't do any good to get mad," says Steve. "I'm sure this guy, he didn't know our daughter had cancer or anything like that. He must have needed it more than we did."
But Steve is entreating the thief to return his daughter's photos. They meant a lot to her, he says, because they depict friends and family rallying for her during a difficult time in her life.
La Kota is responding to the situation with the same humility, telling KARE 11 that all she wants is prayers.
"I'm proud of my daughter," Steve says. "She wasn't brought up to hate people. She was brought up to help people and enjoy life. We help whenever we can, but we're just not used to people helping us."
As word of what happened to La Kota spread among friends and other patients at Children's Hospital, perfect strangers have stepped up in support of the family. Steve says he's going to follow up on an offer of a wig donation later this week.
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